Mindful Yoga (A complete guide)

Mindful Yoga (A complete guide)

This blog explains in detail the concept of mindful yoga. Mindful Yoga is distinct from other mainstream yoga activities in that there is less emphasis on the specific posture accomplished and more emphasis on body/mind awareness than on the ‘right’ pose. 

Bringing knowledge to any sort of interaction brings a warning, attention to what is actually happening at the moment, and how you react to it.

This mindfulness turns movement and exercise into meditation.

Mindful Yoga (A complete guide)

How Mindful Yoga Works 

The method of adding consciousness to your yoga practice greatly increases your dedication to both the inner and outer worlds.

Expand your viewpoint in such a way that you can see a full view and thereby have a deeper understanding of who you are. Mindfulness is alive. Mindfulness is clear.

Bringing sensitivity to your body and how it works in a yoga class can have an immediate effect on your mental and emotional condition.

Such knowledge transcends the language of the body, the body documents the life experiences, and it shows your emotions and thoughts when you step while you practice your yoga while you pay attention. 

Benefits of Mindful Yoga

The following are some of the benefits of mindful yoga:

1. A deep sense of awareness / opening into the self

Generally speaking, the practice of mindfulness results in an extension of your perception and comprehension of who you are (Kabat-Zinn, 2005).

Through mindful yoga, we learn to be astutely aware of the normal patterns of reactivity. For example, do you hold your breath when you’re going deep into a twist?

Do you get irritated or frustrated during demanding poses, and do you want them to be over?

This kind of keen mind-body consciousness becomes a weapon for transition outside of yoga practice because it is through consciousness that we increase our ability to see — and be with — things as they are.

Training our sensitivity helps us move away from the behaviors that hold back our development, such as resistance to what is, behaving as a victim, and reacting to situations rather than reacting to them (Dodd, n.d.).

2. Helps one to face the challenges of everyday life / demonstrate less reactivity

Mindful yoga practice encourages flexibility and discourages reactivity on the mat, which in effect gives rise to more tolerance and less reactivity on the mat.

These can be seen in all aspects of one’s life, including employment, relationship, social life, and leisure activities (Moss, 2018).

This increased sense of composure will make conflict and confrontation easier to handle, as with practice, we learn to pause and focus before we respond according to our habits.

3. Acceptance

Through the mindful practice of yoga, we learn to let go and embrace things for what they are at that moment.

Bringing this into daily life can be extremely useful because if we recognize a perceived negative condition for what it is, we begin to neutralize it, and move more comfortably through it.

Acceptance is even known to help those with depression, for example, because when you start accepting your depression, you start taking power away from it, and you also realize that it’s just thinking and feeling, it’s not you.

Practicing acceptance on the mat trains you for real life, because you don’t even get to pick what’s going to happen next. Mindful yoga helps you to roll the punches.

4. A heightened sense of compassion and non-judgment for the self and others

Increased empathy, generosity, and perception are all things that we can take off the mat and carry into our daily lives through routine training of mindful yoga.

As mindful yoga rises your knowledge and understanding of the truth — body, thoughts, brain, dharma — it deepens your recognition of basic goodness in yourself and others. (Isaacs, 2008).

Specific “heart-opening” exercises in yoga practice are often intended to promote a safe, open heart (this is in the emotional sense, not the physical heart).

As the heart chakra relates to our capacity to give and receive affection, daily mindful yoga practice helps to relieve emotional obstructions and to let go of false thoughts.

5. Deepen your personal yoga practice

The advantage of mindful yoga is that it will enhance and make your personal yoga practice more meaningful.

For some, after many years of practice, yoga can become part of a daily checklist or just a form of exercise.

Once practice starts to become something that you go through regular activities and not through deliberate thought, it’s no longer yoga. 

Mindful yoga, by its very nature, turns you off the “autopilot” and opens you more deeply to your practice.

It may also serve as a bridge between the practice of asana and the practice of meditation, for those who have no experience or awareness of mindfulness meditation.

Mindful Yoga (A complete guide)

Four Mindful Yoga Poses

Mindful yoga is the style of yoga most widely practiced before meditation.

Much as there are certain poses that stretch and/or strengthen your body, and those that give you energy, there are also positions that allow your body for contemplation.

Such mindful yoga poses are intentionally simple, as they help to slow down your breath as well as your body, calm your mind, and, of course, increase your consciousness.

1. Tadasana – also known as “Mountain Pose”

This pose is the fundamental basis of all standing postures. It’s so obvious that it’s not done thoughtfully enough.

It’s an excellent pose to help bring focus to all parts of the body, as well as to the mind, to see if it’s wandering away.

2. Vrikshasana – also known as “Tree Pose”

A famous balancing pose, Tree Pose helps your mind concentrate on finding balance on a standing leg. Here is another easy pose that appears to make the mind drift away.

As well, since it is a balancing pose, a loss of balance may cause one to create a sense of defeat or judgment if he or she is unable to keep a balance.

3. Anjaneyasana – also known as “Low Lunge”

Low Lunge is a relaxing pose that enhances balance, focus, and perception.

In this pose, it is normal to lose awareness of the breath or to elicit an urge for the pose to be done, making it a perfect exercise in mindfulness.

4. Supta Baddha Konasana – also known as “Reclining Bound Angle Pose”

A classic restorative posture, this is a great final posture for mindful yoga practice, acting as a segway to meditation as it brings awareness inward.

In this posture, the mind may begin to wander because of physical discomfort in the inner thighs and the groin.

Recommended Books

The following are some good books on mindful yoga. All of these books are easily available on the internet.

Just click the book you wish to study and you will be redirected to the page for where you can access it.

Mindful Yoga (A complete guide)

What is mindful flow yoga?

This full practice of vinyasa starts with long, deep hip-openers before transitioning to a constant, continuous stream of varying standing poses.

The method also involves reversals, backbends, and forward bends to calm minds.

What are the 4 foundations of mindfulness?

The following are the four foundations of mindfulness:

  • mindfulness of the body,
  • mindfulness of feelings,
  • mindfulness of mind, and.
  • mindfulness of Dhamma.

How do I become mindful?

You can become mindful by sparing some time and any of your trigger, finding a silent spot to sit in, get comfortable and calmed down, clarifying your intentions and focusing on your breaths.

What is a restorative yoga class?

Restorative yoga usually includes only five or six poses, supported by props which help you to relax and restfully.

Held for 5 minutes or more, restorative poses include light twists, seated forward folds, and gentle backbends.

The bulk of restorative activities are based on the B.K.S. Iyengar teachings.

What are some mindfulness exercises?

Following are some mindfulness exercises:

  • Yawn, and extend every hour for 10 seconds
  • Three hugs, the practice of three large breaths 
  • Strike hands 
  • Eating a raisin mindfully 
  • Clamp your hand, and relax your fingertips
  • STOP
  • A conscious one-minute take
  • Meditation about loving-kindness

Is yoga good for mindfulness?

Mindfulness has always been an important part of yoga’s physical activity.

The distinction between Mindful Yoga and the large range of yoga activities out there is that the primary emphasis of Mindful Yoga is on mind-body consciousness as opposed to aspects of balance and the precise physical stance.

Mindful Yoga (A complete guide)

This page explained in detail the concept of mindful yoga.

The blog gave an insight about the benefits of mindful yoga and some poses to practice mindful yoga. If you have any questions or queries regarding these blogs, let us know through your comments.

We will be glad to assist you.

References 

What is Mindful Yoga? | The Float Spa

What is Mindful Yoga? 4 Poses + Yoga Retreats by Michelle Ribeiro (2020)

Amazon.com 

Unsplash.com 

Mindful Yoga (A complete guide)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.