There are many daily tasks we do on automatic pilot, such as a daily commute to work. We don’t consciously focus on each mini-task but follow a learnt train of thought and behavioral patterns. This is really useful, although many people could benefit from being more mindful in their everyday lives. However, with fitness it can be beneficial to exercise mindfully and yoga really helps you focus in this way.
Mindfulness is meditative in many respects but it is not meditation. It is actually about bringing your attention, or your awareness, to the present moment. In other words, not fixating on the future or holding onto the past. Both of these are let go in pursuit of what is happening right this minute, right NOW!
Mindfulness is an intrinsic part of any yoga practice, with breathing exercises and poses aimed at creating this in-the-moment focus. Just as yoga can be a great complement to cardio workouts, mindfulness can also add a real plus point to your yoga practice, other sports and activities, and your life!
The benefits of mindful exercise include:
Transformative – The clarity and ‘head-space’ that mindfulness creates can give you the room you need to really change aspects of your life, whether fitness related or not. Focusing on the present can change your future!
Great stress-reliever – When you work out and take a yoga session, you come with thoughts and feelings from the day which even if not negative can be anxiety-ridden. The focus on the present moment dissolves worries, concerns and over-thinking issues surrounding your world, which really helps to reduce stress levels!
Allows you to reach further – The focus of mindfulness acts as a sharpening tool in many respects and this can help push you as you are not overly-focusing on how far you have to go but whether you are going to go further right now.
Keeps motivation levels buoyant – When you are not weighed down by doubts about past behavior or worries about the future, you feel lighter about life and this has a knock-on effect of boosting your enthusiasm for what you are doing right this second. Not held back by past failures and tough future challenges, you may find you go further.
Inspires greater inner-connectedness – Yoga and mindless are about overall wellbeing, for the body and the mind, working together. This stability and balance promotes a feeling of being in-touch with yourself where you can listen to your body. When you exercise, being able to take this holistic approach can help immensely in achieving your goals.
Enhances focus on proper form – As you move, mindfulness brings a really in-focus attention to how your body is moving and whether this is correct. In yoga, as with other styles of exercise, proper form is not only essential for effective goal-reaching but also to guard against potential injury.
Enables more immediate feedback and monitoring – Greater awareness means better internal communication. This is really useful with yoga and all other types of exercise, as you are then able to understand how you are progressing and whether you need any help or to change direction.
Energizes you – Being mindful has a liberating effect. Even a yoga session or exercising mindfully can leave you feeling lighter and less weighed down by other influences. Basically you can get into the fitness zone! This really lets the energy flow and enables you to get into a rhythm you feel comfortable with.
Bring your attention to your present situation. Focus on your fitness levels and then get in touch to enhance your mindful approach to exercise and life!