The malls are already saturating us with Christmas jingles and we're trying to juggle present shopping with planning meals and holidays and what to do with the kids and pets. How would you like to approach the silly season? Stressed or calm? I know what I would prefer! Leaving a visit to this relaxed inner space until after Christmas may mean that you fall into a heap during your holidays. Who wants that?
I am reminded of how our senses are constantly bombarded with stimulation as I take my weekly walk up Mt Taylor. People pass by plugged into their MP3 players listening to news updates and music to motivate their propulsion, wafting an array of fragrances from perfumes and fabric softeners. Do they miss out on seeing the seasonal vegetation changes, the wildlife scurrying off, the fragrance of the eucalyptus, the rain, and the peace of being grounded in nature? No wonder anxiety is on the rise! It’s difficult to be mindful because of how little space we give ourselves for contemplative awareness. I challenge you to unplug, have a day in nature and join a mindfulness yoga class this silly season.
Yoga and mindfulness go hand in hand
Mindfulness is the practice that allows us to see things as they are, without the pull of craving or aversion. So often we find yoga being portrayed as intense physical postures in the media, emphasising difficult movements, sometimes at the expense of meditation. Isn’t life already difficult enough? Mindfulness yoga is a simple practice of attentive awareness to movement, breath and mind. So the practice of postures is the meditation. Sound good?
Take a look at all the benefits of yoga:
sense of peace and presence in the whole body
less aches and pains
better breathing and sleep patterns
know how to truly relax
discover new and powerful dimensions of yourself
be inspired to make changes in your life
develop meditation skills
cultivate inner happiness.
Moving into mindfulness
A Mindfulness Yoga class will help refine your self-awareness and cultivate more presence in your life beyond the yoga mat. Yoga MINDBODY awakens the union of body, breath and mind, following Hatha Yoga principles.
There is an emphasis on meditation, both in motion and stillness, so yoga can 'do you', rather than 'you do' yoga. What makes this class unique is we simply give more attention to the process, and respond more expressively to our bodies
insights moment to moment.
Like all my classes, emphasis is on the natural and fluctuating breath. In this way you begin to see how our breath and mind are intimately related. This is called Annapanasati. After we have achieved this mindfulness of breath, we then place our awareness onto the whole body. This is where we begin to experience movement in stillness, and stillness in movement.
Why is this so important? In the stillness, we can experience our true self. So much of our thoughts and actions are conditioned and habitual. The mindfulness helps us to see this conditioning, and in seeing this we can begin the process of freely choosing how to respond, rather than blindly react. Just what we need this Christmas.