Yoga for Mindfulness

We are a part of an ecosystem. More minutely, our bodies are ecosystems. There are resources that we must feed to our body to maintain the chain of energy. Yoga is a practice of mindfulness. It’s a practice to supply the resources we need to fuel ourselves. We must understand the resources to preserve our well-being. Thus, mindfulness is a product of yoga. Mindfulness roots from an ancient Buddhist philosophy, where one comes from a place of awareness, feelings and sensations devoid of judgement. The aim is to create a state of a freeing form of awareness, as written in Buddhist philosophy – “bare awareness” [1].

As I sifted through several research papers on mindfulness, I found so many papers defining and explaining the concept of mindfulness. I do not believe that mindfulness needs to be defined, but rather respected for the religious underpinnings. Mindfulness is a psychological model to describe specific mechanisms through which attention regulation practices may result in reducing symptoms and improving well-being [2]. Mindfulness is an individualized process of learning. It is about achieving self-awareness and accepting the involvement of several factors influencing our body. In a society with constant movement and instant gratification, we are complacent with the bombardment of resources without the thought behind what each resource means to us. We keep moving without intention or conscious understanding behind what we are doing. Instead of disrupting the constant regard of doing something productive, we let ourselves succumb to the convention of productivity. We are defined by the work that we do, not by conscious understanding of each action we take to do it. Yoga, in this sense, allows us to broaden our perspective. It helps us collect and regain the depletion of resources in our ecosystems. Educators have found that the intervention of yoga is feasible and beneficial as a method for managing stress and promoting well-being [3]. Furthermore, current findings increasingly support yoga and mindfulness as promising complementary therapies for treating and preventing addictive behaviors [5]. It helps maintain and achieve behaviors that balance our ecosystem.

Yoga and mindfulness is a form of alternative medicine therapy [4]. Yoga is an ancient tradition coming from the Sanskrit word “yoga” meaning union or one-pointed awareness [4]. Yoga practices nurture positive qualities within us, which are willpower, discipline, and self-control and force the mind and body to work synergistically. Yoga exercises may have beneficial effects as a stand-alone treatment on stress reduction and overall well-being [4]. Yoga cultivates mindfulness, a self-help practice that concentrates on training attention and awareness in order to exhibit a mental process that supports mental health well-being and mental stability.

Yoga is inspiring. It gives us oneness, completion, awareness. It gifts us with the ability to practice self-care. It gives us the energy to rectify and maintain ourselves in this constantly challenging world. It is a practice to share kindness to our own ecosystem and to fill a landscape of goodness around us. It is a form of resistance.

[1] Harvey, P. (2012). The Selfless Mind. Routeledge.

[2] Lazaridou, A., Philbrook, P., & Tzika, A. A. (2013). Yoga and Mindfulness as Therapeutic Interventions for Stroke Rehabilitation: A Systematic Review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2013, 1–9.

[3] Harris, A. R., Jennings, P. A., Katz, D. A., Abenavoli, R. M., & Greenberg, M. T. (2016). Promoting Stress Management and Wellbeing in Educators: Feasibility and Efficacy of a School-Based Yoga and Mindfulness Intervention. Mindfulness, 7(1), 143–154.

[4] Büssing, A., Michalsen, A., Khalsa, S. B. S., Telles, S., & Sherman, K. J. (2012). Effects of Yoga on Mental and Physical Health: A Short Summary of Reviews. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 2012, 1–7.

[5] Khanna, S., & Greeson, J. M. (2013). A narrative review of yoga and mindfulness as complementary therapies for addiction. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 21(3), 244–252.

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