22 Jun Stretch Your Mind with Meditation and Yoga!
Sitting on the grass, breathing in the clean air encompassing me when I’ve just finished doing yoga on a bright morning is a good example of how easy it is to feel alive and connected with peace in life. Both the mind and the body are spacious and open, but all these feelings tend to dissolve as soon as I prepare to tackle the rest of the day. Perhaps a lot of us can relate to my feeling of wondering ” what if I could just be here in park all the time? I’d be a lot more peaceful, that’s for sure!”…..Err, No! Because that’s where I’d be kidding myself and my mental willpower. A lot of us seem to look outside for inner contentment, which is why we build our own walls of fear and discomfort even though it’s our own mind and body. The host of all good things within you- is your body and we can reflect that wellness by simply understanding that peace in life can be available to us at all times by being mindful.
This can be attained by practicing meditation, and you can couple it with yoga to take relaxation even further. Let’s say you want clarity of mind- that can be achieved with meditation. But if your back is hurting and your body is feeling less energetic, it’s difficult to practice mental alertness or enlightenment. Soon your confidence in leading a peaceful life will diminish. Yoga is a great tool to add energy and oxygen into your tired muscles, but if your mind is full of thoughts then the body will also mirror those thoughts with a stiff back or a clenched jaw. Therefore, it’s crucial to harmonize the mind and the body as they need to work hand-in-hand and align together fulfill your needs of clarity and physical health.
How can meditation help in the yoga practice?
I received this witty image earlier today and it made me laugh, but all jokes aside, it got me thinking about how easy it is for our minds to “stretch” out topics, feelings from the past and that one discussion we all have about future!
Meditation is something you should become friends with while you do yoga (and after) just because it brings us to the present moment. That literally means that you are alert and aware of your body twisting and elongating and not your mind “stretching” out discussions and opinions, while you do so. Sometimes the body may be right here, but the mind is very far away. Meditation helps us to identify points throughout the day when the mind and the body as disintegrated.
Aware’s meditation sessions will guide you to open up about yourself and see the way your mind works and how habituated you are to certain reactions. We are very vocal about having an open- minded attitude about what you will discover as you uncover layers of the mind. This will help you form a great relationship with yourself and build compassion for the people around you. As we go about interacting with others, yoga is a good practice to accompany meditation.
A lot of what we hide, crave, ignore, love or push away is stored in our body. We harvest these feelings without knowing it and meditation will help us becoming curious of our habits and why we do them. Combine this with yoga and you have a sense of alertness and calm which offers a holistic session to become aware of your patterns or habits, create some spaciousness before reacting and refine your patience, all the while being present around people who you interact with every day. That’s why it’s about changing your relationship with yourself as it helps you to become more accepting and at the same time more mindful about how the body reacts to situations- has my breathing changed? is there any stiffness? can I slow down, be patient with myself and open up my body to touch my fingers to my toes? Whatever you discover about yourself will bring you closer to the textures of your unique mind both on and off the mat.
What makes Aware so special and how is it beneficial to you?
Aware is a mobile application that guides you through the day with mindfulness, helping you achieve balance and clarity for a healthier and happier you. The great thing about Aware is that we helps you to form a habit, it will guide you to gently notice lively sensations in the body with every inhale and exhale. Most people wonder what they can do if they feel the need to meditate in the middle of the day or night( for sleeping on time)- so we formed Energizers and Singles to pick you up throughout the day and open you up to the benefits of immediate relief.
We have a Foundation Course, and then various other courses will unlock, and you will be spoilt for choices for topics under Health, Relationship, Sport and Performance!
The sessions are for 10 minutes, so it’s a great mental “mat” to step into so as to find your center before you practice yoga. Just as you pay attention to your breath in meditation, you can do the same for yoga. Sure, you may be upside down and your breath might shift but it shifts in real life too, like when you gasp at a surprise or sigh before tackling a challenge. This is how you can stretch your mind and body to cultivate grounds for a positive attitude for the rest of your life.
Nehita is a mindfulness expert who writes extensively on lifestyle management, wellness and ways to lead a healthier and a happier life. She is a part of Aware’s expert team on meditation. She is also an avid artist who spends most her time dribbling amazing stories through art.