Mindfulness is about being present in whatever we’re doing. It means giving our mental focus solely to the activity we’re taking part in which can be a lot more difficult than it sounds. It’s easy to let our mind wander when we are practising Yoga, thinking about other things that have happened during the day, trying to solve problems or even just going through the motions without really considering what we are doing. There are few problems with this. Multi-tasking often leads to doing lots of things half-heartedly, rather than one thing well and if our mind isn’t fully engaged in our yoga practice, we are unlikely to be giving it our all.
Taking a more mindful approach
By concentrating in what we are doing in the present moment, we can ensure we’re doing it to the best of our ability. This is not about criticising what we’re doing, noticing things we’re doing “wrong” or focusing on how out of breath we might feel. But we can gently guide and correct your body, making note of what feels right. When a yoga pose is hard, it’s good to be aware of that and make a conscious effort to adjust the level or the intensity accordingly.
As we get used to our Yoga practice, we might find that our mind starts to wander again. If that’s the case, we can notice when these new thoughts intrude and mindfully push them to one side, refocusing on our practice. It can be hard to master at first but if we persevere it can become second nature, asking ourselves these questions:
- What can we do to be more present while we’re practising Yoga?
- How can we stop negative thought patterns from holding us back?
- What can we do to be less critical of ourselves?