Present Moment, Only Moment
Quality in life is not measured by checked boxes but whether you have really enjoyed and been present in your experiences. Mindfulness requires us to stop doing and just be…at least for a moment.
Mindfulness practices can help us to increase our ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress, anxiety and depression. It can also help us focus our attention, as well as observe our thoughts and feelings without judgment. As we become more present in our lives and in relation to others, it can help us to make better decisions, to manage our emotions and to be more fully engaged in life.
The first skill is to observe. This is just noticing what we are feeling, thinking or noticing within ourselves. The second skill is to describe what we see or what we experience without judgment. The third skill is to participate. This means to fully engaging ourselves in the experience.
Mindfulness In Action
Given how fast we move each day and the pervasive feeling of needing to “get it all done,” many of us find ourselves stressed, anxious and feeling constantly overwhelmed. By making the effort to be mindful, we can focus on what matters most.
Yoga is an excellent way to develop a practice of self-study. While the practice of yoga is currently evolving, it is ultimately an awareness practice. Where we place our attention influences how we experience of life. Yin Yoga, in particular, asks us to slow down and notice what is happening from inside.
The mind will entice you to wander and your ego will quietly kvetch, as your body stresses joints, repairing and revitalizing tissues in the body. So, we listen to the ego’s pleas, assess the complaint, make adjustments and commit to stillness once again. Paying attention like this to the breath, distinguishing sensations, tracking feelings, noticing the likes and dislikes are all part of mindfulness in action.
Posture as Portal
Yin Yoga is a sneaky way to practice mindfulness in action. We use the posture to get into the mind. In the early stages of the practice, the strongest noticeable sensations will likely be physical ones. Over time, you may also notice emotional, psychological, or even energetic sensations. Be curious and stay with whatever arises.
Yin Yoga breaks up stagnant energy with fibroblasts of hyaluronic acid. This occurs when tension is sustained on our joints for certain length of time. The release of each posture sends a stream of new energy through the system. This “energy,” also known as qi or prana, takes us deeper into ourselves. As we quiet and deepen, we become more mindful.