Why You Need Mindfulness

Besides mastering the poses, we learn to master quieting the mind and minimizing the vritti’s in yoga.

“Vritti” literally means a “whirlpool”. Vritti has also been translated as “waves” or “ripples” of disturbance upon the otherwise calm waters of the mind. The classical definition of yoga as stated in the Yoga Sutras is to calm the waves and return, or reunite (yoga = union) mind to its calm state.

These “disturbances” or distractions keep us from reaching our highest point of enlightenment.

For example, during your fifth downward dog in the practice, your mind may start to wander.

The mind most often tends to think in the past or future, not in the present moment. Yoga allows us to get to that space. By focusing on our breath, we are bringing attention to the present moment. This is mindfulness.

According to Harvard Health Publishing the benefits of mindfulness include:

  • Mindfulness improves well being- By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past
  • Mindfulness improves physical health- Mindfulness can: help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.
  • Mindfulness improves mental health- psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems, including: depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, couples’ conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder

I encourage you when practicing at home, in class and throughout the day to focus on your breath. Spend 5-10 minutes a day in stillness.

Finding an area of peace and serenity will help you to refocus.

Here are a few great yoga poses for mindfulness and meditation:

  • Sukhasana (Seated Pose)

  • Balasana (Child’s Pose)

  • Viparita Karani (Legs Up The Wall)

  • Savasana (Resting Pose)

Categories: All, Yoga

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