Mindfulness is about seeing things as they are, without expectations or judgment.
Sometimes we go through our yoga poses — asana — without mindfulness. We’re thinking about our to-do list we need to tackle after our practice. Or we skipped our practice all together because we simply “don’t have time.”
The truth is, when we’re busiest and most stressed is when we need yoga the most.
Dedicate your full attention to your next yoga practice — whether it’s two hours or 20 minutes. Connect the mind, breath and movement to make your yoga practice a moving meditation. Become a witness to your practice, without judging any physical or emotional feelings that arise. Ask yourself questions throughout your practice.
What sensations are you feeling?
Where are you feeling tension? How can you let it go?
How does your breath feel? Is your awareness on your breath? Notice how it feels as it fills your lungs completely.
Are you thinking about your breath, or wondering when the pose will end?
What deserves your full attention right now?
What movement will best serve your body’s needs in this very moment?
I try to ask questions like these in my classes to encourage a mindful practice. But ultimately, your practice is your practice. No teacher, even a great teacher, can improve it. As teachers, our role is to give you the tools. It’s your job to build with them.
So the next time you step on your mat, don’t just hold the tools. Use them.