Incorporating the elements of mindfulness in yoga brings us deeper into the present moment during our practice.
Mentally, we can be thinking of correct alignment and anatomy in our postures, which will lead us into body consciousness and present moment awareness. But if this is our only focus, do we sacrifice other aspects which are perhaps of equal or greater importance?
Do we feel the texture and softness of the rubber yoga mat that we are standing on?
Do we feel energetic change as we hold a particular mudra (hand position)?
Are we aware of our breath on exhale and inhale? Of the quality of our breath? Of the length of our breath? Where it is being directed? Is the nature of breath equality of inhalation and exhalation, or is it longer or shorter in its ebb and flow?
Are we aware of the heat of our hands as we gently press them together in prayer position?
Are we able to observe these subtle experiences as the observer or witness, or does our ego, our surface personality, once again rise to take control?
Having awareness of our feelings during our practice is also important, as so often our actions don’t reflect how we feel. If we are happy, then why are we not smiling? A practice without joy is lifeless!
Are our feelings worldly or spiritual? External or internal? Pleasant or unpleasant?
The one consistent truth is that either our feet or hands are, for the most part, constantly in contact with the mat. So if you become aware that your stream of thought is wandering during your practice, don’t be critical of yourself. Just squeeze your toes or fingers into the mat. Feel the qualities of the material, and be happy knowing you have arrived back in the present moment.
H2O Yoga and Meditation Center
Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia