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Thousand and one misconceptions about Yoga: Bring it on Mindfulness!

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Sunsets & Bubbles – 22 August 2016

Spiritual or Mystical…?
Among the many misconceptions about yoga, there is this extended believe, that for you to go beyond the physical benefits of it and to take on the emotional and spiritual ones, you may have to become some sort of hippy-yogi chanting mantras, playing singing bowls, wearing garlands around the neck & going to spiritual communities in India…
I personally do love that type of vibe, as I feel pretty identified with the mysticism of Eastern Philosophies… but of course I get that that’s not everyone’s cup of tea…

The point I’d like to make with this article is the following: There is absolutely nothing esoteric about mindfulness, spirituality and yoga, trust me, nothing.

The so-called spiritual awakening and the inner peace that goes along with it, is actually a very straightforward, and in fact, even very simple shift of behaviour and mental patterns. The problem is that it is one that takes strong doses of consciousness and stamina, hence the high difficulty for the majority of us to get to understand this concept and actually apply that shift into our lives.

Yoga & Mindfulness… 
When we practice yoga, we establish a pretty straightforward relation to its physical and mental benefits, we tend to, immediately after a class, feel a nice sensation of wellbeing.

“Right after class, you feel lighter, energised and better, physically, mentally and emotionally.”

Once this happens, this feel-good sensation tends to last for a shorter or longer period of time, depending on how our day unfolds. As the day goes by, with all the up and down of work, commuting, relationships, finances, family, the world issues and so on, that inner peace you reached through your practice, may start going directly down the sink…

The immediate benefit from your yoga practice all of the sudden evaporates, taking you back onto your “natural state”, a state in which you are thinking, anticipating, planning and worrying about current or potential problems, trying to mentally solve them.

This is a clear example of how we move from a state of complete mindfulness reached via our yoga practice, to a state of the exact opposite to mindfulness, which relates to stress, worry and basically, what we call “life” as we know it.

Life will still keep happening, and that you can’t control, however you can have control over your mind. While you are worrying or dwelling in anything but the present moment, you can not inhabit mindfulness, and when you’re not inhabiting the present moment, you can’t live a life free of suffering, simple.

That is actually the key to yoga and to the popular concept of mindfulness. A regular practice of Yoga, offers you the tool to dwell in that state of inner peace, called mindfulness or living in the now, managing to transform that short feel-good sensation after class, into your natural state.

So, yes you can get the 360 benefits from yoga, even if you’re totally into sciences and only believe in what you see.

“A belief may be comforting. Only through your own experience however, does it become liberating” – Eckhart Tolle

Putting things into context… 
Now, you may wonder, what I actually wondered for years of yoga practice, how do I jump from that temporal state of feel-good sensation into a natural prolonged state of inner peace regardless life’s circumstances?

To get to understand that, we need to put our yoga practice into context by understanding at least a little bit, the philosophy behind it. It is like taking the pieces of a puzzle and putting them all together.

For that, I’d like to give you a little introduction to the 8 Limbs of Yoga by Patanjali (the so-called father of modern yoga and author of the Yoga Sutras). Understanding this, will give you an insight to comprehend how you can integrate the benefits of yoga in your daily life.

I will write about the 8 Limbs of Yoga in the next few days, keep an eye on the blog to stay tuned.

But hey, just by reading this, you’re actually already bringing extra consciousness over your yoga practice, and that’s a huge step. The rest will come also on due time : )

Thanks for reading!

Happy week x

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