When you hear the word yoga, what comes to your mind? Sitting on a mat with legs tucked in, hands held out and breath, going deep and slow, right? Or twisting your body and hopping around on one leg? You are not wrong. Yoga is all about creating balance, flexibility, strength, and relaxation through a series of movements, postures and breathing patterns. The right amount of yoga keeps you fit and improves longevity.
The origin of yoga is traceable to India Circa 3000 B.C. Scattered about the Indus Valley are stone-carved figured depicting original yoga postures. Yoga was developed with the single purpose of harmonizing the heart and soul in the quest for divine enlightenment. However, on discovering that yoga was beneficial in alleviating physical injuries and curing various diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes, the practice began to spread to other cultures outside India.
How Can You Use Yoga To Achieve Mindfulness?
It is difficult to have a mind that is relaxed and at ease in this high tech world of ours. Our minds are always juggling different thoughts and working fast to come up with speedy responses or solutions to some data presented online. Even expert yogis often struggle to stay focused while practicing yoga.
If you seek to achieve mindfulness with yoga, follow these simple tips:
Don’t Welcome Distractions In Your Practice Area
Your phone is the number one distraction. Even if you are not reaching out for it, keeping it within your view can cause your mind to keep wandering. Once you spread your yoga mat to do yoga, take away everything you don’t need for practice.
Kick-off Your First Few Poses By Tapping Into Your Feelings
Yoga, of course, is a way of becoming more aware of your feelings and learning to control your thoughts. So, to get into that mindful state, it’s good to begin by tapping into your feelings. Set realistic goals for yourself and try not to judge your experience.
Don’t Compete With Others
Practice yoga at your own pace. Your friend’s or fellow student’s ability to do the advanced variations of yoga perfectly shouldn’t move you to attempt poses that don’t make sense to you. Stay connected to what makes sense to you.
Allow Your Body To Completely Relax
Allow your body to physically relax and leave the mind to do what it is known for—wandering.
How To Achieve Physical Fitness With Yoga
Although keeping fit isn’t what yoga was originally developed for, experts have discovered that it is also effective for weight loss. How? When you practice yoga, you become more self-aware and more conscious of what you eat. Also, yoga is well-known for its ability to reduce stress. When the stress hormone in your body is high, it often leads to weight gain.
Incorporating strength and flexibility-focused types of yoga poses like Chaturanga and Ashtanga into your workout regime can also work wonders on your physical health and fitness.