Seeking Mindfulness on the Yoga Mat
Yoga is more than a buzzword or workout, it is a state of mind. Letting go of daily stresses and finding balance and connection between the body, mind, and breath is what we go to our mats for. Gurus will suggest yoga heals the body from the inside out, working every fiber of our being. While yoga is great for the mind, it is also good for the muscles.
Strengthing the muscles, working on flexibility, and toning is part of yoga, however there is so much more. Often many people are intimitated by yoga because they feel they are not flexible. It is not about having a perfect standing bow or being able to do a standing spit. Yoga begins and ends with the breath. Truly opening the lungs, pausing in this hectic world of ours, and slowing the breath. When we learn to control the breath, we learn to control the mind. When we control the mind, we can control the movement of our body, and carry the mindfulness into our daily lives.
Gaining strength is a bi-product of a yoga routine.
As is relaxation, calmness, and clarity. Yoga comes in all forms to challenge both our mind and body, such as hot, aerial, yin, hip hop, beer, goat and the list goes on and on. Practiced in India for hundreds of years, it is still something of a phenomenon in the Western World. Used as a supplement for athletic training, cancer patient health, stress management and so much more, yoga is becoming commonly integrated in medicine and health practices. Corporations are even offering yoga for employees, which seems to boost job happiness, productivity, and health. And wellness retreats offering yoga are becoming more and more prevalant for those seeking a vacation away from it all.
In yoga, our brain controls the body’s movement, yet our mind controls the thoughts and the breath. We can find oursleves in fight or flight mode on the mat, yet somehow the balance of the sweetness of the struggle becomes gratifying. When it is hard and we work through it, there is a sense of relief as well as accomplishment. Helping to build us up from the inside. Toning our mind, flexing our brain, and strengthing our entire being.
Yoga has proven to help with anxiety and depression, and even recommended to help with bladder control issues and pelvic area pain after hysterectomy’s. Wellness is more top of mind than ever before, and yoga can be positive for our mental health. Millions suffer from a myriad of mental health conditions, this exercise is helping people thrive. While some doctors may argue its benefits or not buy into what it can do for the mind and body, in all its forms, yoga is nourishment to the muscles, organs, and soul.
Next time you feel overwhelmd by yoga, take a breath, give it a try, and remember it is never about how flexible you are.