There is a very famous verse in the Bhagavad Gita (6:39) which compares the human mind to an unsteady flame, it reads:
“By its very nature the untrained mind is restless, constantly wandering here and there trying to fulfil its desires. It flickers wildly like a flame in a storm – never blown completely out, yet at the mercy of the wind. Wherever the mind wanders, Krishna says, it must be brought back to its source; it must learn to rest in the Self. Once it is at home in the depths of contemplation, the mind becomes steady, like an upright, unflickering flame in a windless place. In this deep meditation, and only there, can the human being find true fulfilment.”
Quote taken from: The Bhagavad Gita – Page 137 – Eknath Easwaran – Nilgiri Press – October 2009
How often I have sat and contemplated this quote and respected the wisdom of this ancient text! However, I know, it is often daunting to even start to imagine how we can begin to reach such lofty ideals. My belief is that a modern Mindfulness Practice can offer some of the answers and give us a start on our road to a more fulfilling, peaceful and contented lifestyle – with the possibility of connecting to our true “Self”.
Mindfulness means knowing directly what is going on inside and outside of ourselves, moment by moment, by connecting with our breath and body, sensations and experience. This means waking up to the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the present moment. There also needs to be an awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment, without getting caught up in our emotions and reacting habitually to those emotions. This type of awareness doesn’t start by trying to change or fix anything it’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment, and very often ourselves clearly. When we do that, we can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.
Combining Mindfulness and Yoga is an extremely powerful practice. It allows us to connect fully with the body, instead of routinely practicing asana without being connected with the present. When we practice Yoga mindfully it often means that a practice we did only yesterday feels totally different today, depending on our emotions, our energy levels, our physical fitness on the day. Listening to the body, and being in the moment with a sense of tranquillity gives the body the space and compassion it needs to explore asanas in more depth, without becoming fixated on the physical forms. By bringing our full awareness to, and listening to how our body is feeling can create less physical tension within the body, which in turn can result in fewer injuries.
By practising Yoga mindfully, you open more deeply to your Yoga practice and can then begin to extend that feeling into your life as a whole.
I am very pleased to be able to teach at Lucia Yoga in Granada from 27th August to 1st September 2017, during this retreat I will be conducting Mindful Yoga classes and also an Introduction to Mindfulness Workshop, which will introduce participants to all of the elements of Mindfulness through discussion and Mindfulness Meditations, plus practical Mindfulness tips for everyday living. I hope to see you next year to be able to offer you a fuller understanding of Mindfulness practice, extending this in to your Yoga practice, and, perhaps, the commencement down a path of your life which can enhance your contentment and give you the opportunity, with plenty of practice, to “rest in the sense of “Self”.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on: [email protected]