05 Jul #2 Yoga Retreat Lesson: Align Body and Mind I Mental Detox
One of the most important things I discovered during my yoga retreat was how strong of an alignment I developed between my mind and my body through the practice of yoga and meditation.
I became more aware of the nuances of my physical capabilities, my muscles, and the presence of my body in the lush greenery at the ashram. At the same time, I became much more aware of and in control of my thoughts.
Through breathing exercises, I was able to control the many different ideas that pass through our minds at different times, while also appreciating the seeming randomness of our mind.
I also found that there is an inextricable connection between what you do with your body and how it impacts your mind, and vice versa.
By practicing yoga and meditation together, the yoga retreat became a physical and mental detox and rejuvenation.
YOGA is not just about moving, stretching, and physically challenging your body with the different asanas, but a lot of it is about control, about listening to your body, and about challenging your body in a calm way.
While doing yoga you are listening to your body, but also pushing it. Breath in, and as you breath out go deeper into the stretch…. As you focus on these small movements and changes in your body you also let go of other worries, focusing on the moment.
In addition, I found that by clearing my mind and by focusing on control of small movements I was able to achieve a lot more than if I had been pushing myself or consciously aware of making large improvements in my flexibility and physical abilities.
At the end of each yoga session, I felt, not only that I had worked with my body, but that my mind was in tune with the movements of my body, and both body and mind were calm.
MEDITATION, like the practice of yoga, had an impact on both my mind and my body, aligning the two. I have to admit that even by the end of the week, sitting still for 30 minutes or more, trying on focus on breathing and clearing the mind was challenging. Try sitting still in a cross-legged position for even 10 minutes and you will begin to get distracted by itches or start to feel somewhat uncomfortable; we are rarely at rest. Even when we are at rest, the body moves a bit.
In that way, I would say that I learned a lot about controlling my body, while at the same time relaxing and clearing my mind. This dual impact in both the meditation and the yoga sessions helped to balance me personally.
– Klara Kovarova, B.A., M.A., Canada