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After doing meditation techniques and breathing exercises for many years now I came across an interesting philosophy called mindfulness.
This isn't technically one of those meditation techniques where you sit and contemplate; oh no no no no no!
Mindfulness is all about giving yourself to the moment completely, being completely immersed in the task you are doing letting no external source break your flow.
According to that well known human collective mind known as Wikipedia, mindfulness is Described as...
"a calm awareness of one's body functions, feelings, content of consciousness, or consciousness itself"
Mindfulness is originally a Buddhist teaching but is now being adopted more in western psychology (positive psychology) and is even being used to help treat people with anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder.
So how can you get started with mindfulness?
Firstly if your new to trying meditation techniques or general meditation then this will be perfect for you. Just stopping for a second and taking three deep breaths while you focus on your airflow and realise that they are a conscious experience with body activity within the mind.
Try this. Next time you make a cup of tea, really focus on each sensation your body has, feel yourself reach for the cup or mug effortlessly like your in complete flow. See nothing but the job in hand giving complete focus to each stage of the process. Hear the different sounds that are being made and let them gently rest between your ears, all the time being in complete flow.
The beauty of this is you can really dedicate your attention onto one simple action like making a cup of tea or coffee.
If you would like to explore this more, then if you can start by lying on the floor in Savasana (Sanskrit for 'Corpse Pose' which is traditionally used in yoga at the beginning or end of a session as a relaxing posture to help focus the mind and rejuvenate the body).
To do savasana start by Lying on your back, spread arms and legs, about 45 degrees from the sides of your body. Tilt head slightly back so it rests comfortably. Make sure you are warm and comfortable.
Take a deep breath and as stated earlier focus on nothing but your breath and allow yourself to have a wave of calm and relaxation spread through your body. Gently release the breath and feel the tension move from away your body. Just allow yourself to stay in this pose for a few moments as you soak up all that good relaxation feeling. Then when you are ready slowly get up and carry on about your day, try moving a little slower than before to keep those good sensations with you.
April 27, 2015
Yoga For Life
By Morgan F Turley
Yoga has become a very popular form of exercise over the past few years. About 11 million Americans use yoga as a form of exercise or relaxation. Many use Yoga to connect the mind, body and spirit using different poses, or asanas. Combining yoga poses with proper breathing improves the bodies' physical and mental functions. Physical benefits are improved flexibility and circulation, while also improving muscle tone and strength, decreased blood pressure, increased joint range of motion, better eye-hand coordination, better posture, and much more. Yoga will also increase ones' energy and stamina. There is yoga for relaxation, for energy, for back pain sufferers' and even for those with MS. The psychological benefits of yoga include lower levels of depression and anxiety, better focus, better memory, and increased concentration. Yoga can decrease hostility, improve mood, and increase one's social skills, among other benefits.
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years. It combines ideas, ancient theories, and observations of the body that are now being proven by modern medicine. There are many different forms of yoga. Hatha yoga is the most popular form. Many refer to it as basic yoga. This form developed in 15th century India. Several different forms have developed from the Hatha style of yoga. They include; Power, Kundalini, Bikrah, and Ashtanga styles. Asana or physical poses are used to free your mind from stress and tension. They are created to relax and reenergize, while connecting the body and mind, to create the perfect union. The positions should be done with steadiness, comfort, and ease. Pranayama is the technique of breathing through the poses. You learn to control and regulate your breathing through breathing exercises that inhalation, duration, and exhalation.
Yoga fits all lifestyles and ages, including children and seniors. There is a yoga style to fit just about any level of fitness, from beginning yoga to power yoga.
Another benefit of yoga is the small amount of space and the amount of equipment needed. The main tool is an exercise mat. Make sure you pick a mat that suits your needs, and learn how to care for your mat to ensure it lasts. If you don't have a mat, you could use a blanket. Other equipment you may want to purchase is yoga bands and an exercise ball. Make sure to wear comfortable clothing that allows freedom of movement. Pick fabrics that will absorb sweat. Yoga pants are very popular choice. You can find clothing to fit your needs online or at your local department store. You may want to join a beginner class or find a teacher to help get you started. You may also find a how to video or a book with pictures of poses beneficial. You could check either of these out at your local library if you want to try it before you buy it. And as always, you may want to consult a physician before starting any exercise routine, especially if you have a medical condition. Whatever form of fitness you choose, make sure you have fun with it, this will help you stick with it.
Morgan Turley is a yoga instructor at Essence Yoga Studio, providing a variety of yoga Mesa AZ classes.
April 27, 2015
April 27, 2015
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