Updated: Feb 26, 2019
"Mindfulness is knowing what you are experiencing while you are experiencing it. ... “Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally.” - Jon Kabat-Zinn
Mindfulness is a way of paying attention to, and seeing clearly whatever is happening in our lives. It will NOT eliminate life's pressures and difficulties, but it can help us respond to them in a calmer way that benefits our heart, head, and body. It helps us recognise and step away from habitual, often unconscious emotional and physiological reactions to everyday events. It provides us with a scientifically researched approach to cultivating clarity, insight, and understanding. Practicing mindfulness allows us to be fully present in our life and work, and improve our quality of life.
“It’s about knowing what is on your mind." - Jon Kabat Zinn
If we learn to focus our attention on our breath, thoughts, feelings and physical sensations, we establish a strong foundation. A foundation from which we can expand our awareness to our actions and interactions with ourselves, other people and the world.
Asana practice is a great way to practice mindfulness, as not only is mindfulness closely interwoven into it's very fibers, you can also use mindfulness techniques to improve your yoga practice. Here are some ways to show how it is interwoven and how you can implement it:
1. Through focus on the alignment of your body
Iyengar Yoga is renowned for it's focus on proper alignment, not only does this create evenness & health in the body, it also brings the mind completely into the present moment. Once your mind is focused on for instance the big toe, the upper thigh and the left shoulder blade your awareness can be no where else except right here, right now.
“It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.” B.K.S. Iyengar
We all have our likes & dislikes in the different yoga postures. The ones we like we can hold on for ever, but the others not so much. The next time you are in a pose that you dislike, instead of wanting to come out of it straight away, bring your attention to your breath. Feel how the breath flows in & out through your body. The moment you do this you bring your awareness in contact with your breath and therefor in the present moment. When you practice this way you might find that in the present moment there are no likes and dislikes, there just is.
3. Feel the the sensations in your body
We are so often not aware of what we are feeling, of what sensations we have in our body. Use your yoga & mindfulness practice to get into touch with your inner awareness. Just by drawing your awareness inward and feeling. Maybe even asking your self "how am I feeling". Without any judgement, without wanting to change anything, just being aware of the sensations in your body.
“By drawing our senses of perception inward, we are able to experience the control, silence, and quietness of the mind.” ― B.K.S. Iyengar
IYENGAR YOGA & MINDFULNESS RETREAT
If you are interested in Yoga & Mindfulness and would like to implement this practice into your day to day life come an join us for a retreat! During this retreat we will combine the amazing disciplines of Iyengar Yoga and Mindfulness practice. The purpose of this retreat is to learn to use the skills of Yoga & mindfulness to restore your sense of balance and equanimity. Cultivate a sense of spaciousness, awareness & being present. It is designed to support, to slow down and to connect. It is offered in a beautiful location, in a fun and supportive way, whilst in the company of other like-minded people.
The retreat will be held at the new retreat destination for 2018 in the stunning eco farm house with salt water swimming pool. There will be twice daily Iyengar yoga classes focused on alignment & infused with yogic philosophy. Also daily mindfulness meditation and two mindful deepening sessions will be offered. Besides that you will be treated with delicious vegan/vegetarian food and mindful silent moments throughout the week.
WHERE: Costa Vicentina National park, Algarve, Portugal
TEACHERS: Liz Tiesinga (mindfulness) & Shaini Verdon (Iyengar yoga)