Array ( [cityNAME] => Other Cities [cityID] => 5 [cityLINKS] => other-cities [countryCode] => [popup] => Array ( [city] => Seattle [country] => United States ) )$_COOKIE:
Array ( )$_POST:
Array ( )$prow:
id_posts => 1326632243 0 => many letters(content text :)) id_city => 0 1 => 0 id_category => 28 2 => 28 id_member => 1285903846 3 => 1285903846 posts_title => Moving into stillness 4 => Moving into stillness posts_content => many letters(content text :)) 5 => many letters(content text :)) posts_date => 1326632243 6 => 1326632243 posts_status => Y 7 => Y comment_status => Y 8 => Y posts_link => meditation-stillness-quiet-mind-peace-visualization-chanting-mantra-present-breath 9 => meditation-stillness-quiet-mind-peace-visualization-chanting-mantra-present-breath posts_modified => 1450940390 10 => 1450940390 jml_comment => 0 11 => 0 ord => 0 12 => 0 posts_hit => 7274 13 => 7274 posts_origin => N 14 => N writer_name => janice 15 => janice photographer_name => Jeffrey 16 => Jeffrey feature => N 17 => N ingredient => 18 => servefor => 19 => id_approve => 1285903846 20 => 1285903846 kunci => Approve 21 => Approve subposts => yoga and mindfulness 22 => yoga and mindfulness writer_lastname => gates 23 => gates photographer_lastname => Horvitz 24 => Horvitz notes => 25 => time_a => 26 => time_b => 27 => city_code => 804286 28 => 804286 state_code => 02 29 => 02 country_code => ID 30 => ID idStates => 1907 31 => 1907 id_photographer => 0 32 => 0 titletag => Meditation Stillness Quiet Mind Peace Visualization Chanting Mantra Present Breath 33 => Meditation Stillness Quiet Mind Peace Visualization Chanting Mantra Present Breath id_edited => 2 34 => 2 id_member_edited => 0 35 => 0 keywords => Meditation Stillness Quiet Mind Peace Visualization Chanting Mantra Present Breath 36 => Meditation Stillness Quiet Mind Peace Visualization Chanting Mantra Present Breath img_header => 37 => img_header_mobile => 38 => thumbnail => 39 => rectangle_image => 40 => header_image => 41 => square_image => 42 => featured_home => 0 43 => 0
You’re not alone.
Although the yoga postures were originally designed to prepare the mind and body for meditation, our body conscious culture has fallen in love with downward facing dog and everything asana.
I must admit, after a brief stint meditating at a monastery in Thailand, I got hooked on the poses myself. I loved how alive my body felt, amazed that I could isolate the skin on my inner heel or balance on my hands. But after awhile, I started to notice a kind of letdown after my practice. Inevitably, something wouldn’t go my way, and my irritation and impatience would resurface. I could put my foot behind my head and back bend with the best of them, but beneath my yoga glow the same old fears and insecurities were driving my life.
Mindfulness means “to remember,” to come back to our actual experience, and is an aspect of Buddhist practice that can support and inform our yoga practice. It can help us awaken from the trance of our habit energies. The meditation techniques of yoga—such as visualization, chanting a mantra, or focusing on the breath—train us in to stop, focus our mind, and take a fast from our usual feast of thoughts, bringing our mind back again and again to our object of meditation. Buddhist practice also trains us in the art of concentration, but adds mindfulness, where rather than zooming in on one object and reducing outer distractions, we learn to open to our experience as it is. The perceived obstacles—a siren screaming by, our aching back, our anger—become the path. By observing the full range of our thoughts, feelings, sensations and emotions we discover how they effect and reflect each other. Whether we are sitting in meditation, standing on our head or preparing dinner, we gently make room for whatever arises and notice our tendency to spin a story around it, hold onto it, or push it away. By allowing everything to come and go, we discover a natural ease underneath all of our thinking and tension. This spacious awareness is always there, and is almost so obvious, that once we experience it, it’s easy to see how we could have missed it.
While yoga has been touted as the fountain of youth and can keep us vital as we age, the truth is that the yoga postures we can do today, we won’t be able to do at some time in the future. Our skin will sag, our bones crumble and our body will ultimately go back to the earth. Our lives are unfolding moment by moment. If we are not present for those moments, we will miss this precious gift.
Mindfulness reminds us that our lives are now.