What is Mindfulness?
According to the Greater Good Science Center at the University of California Berkeley, mindfulness is the practice of “Living in the present moment without judgment and awakening to the experience.” Taking the time every day to slow down, to sit, to breathe, and to just be. To be aware of how we treat ourselves, others, animals, and the earth.
Meditation and Yoga are forms of Mindfulness
When you Meditate, you give yourself an Inner Vacation.
Meditation is very simple. It is simply attending. You can begin by attending to your breath, and then if a thought comes, attend to it, notice it, be open to it-and it will pass. Then you come back to your breath. Your normal response is to react to all your thoughts, and this keeps you ever busy in a sea of confusion. Meditation teaches you to attend to what is taking place within without reacting, and this makes all the difference. It brings you freedom from your mind and its meandering. And in this freedom you begin to experience who you are, distinct from your mental turmoil. You experience inner joy and contentment, you experience relief and inner relaxation, and you find a respite from the tumult of your life. You have given yourself an inner vacation.
The inner vacation is not a retreat from the world but the foundation for finding inner peace. You must also learn to apply the principle of attending in your worldly activities, so that you can apply yourself in the world more effectively. Through practicing meditation you can learn to be open to what comes before you in your daily life and give it your full attention.
Much like Meditation, Yoga requires attending
“The practice of Yoga induces a primary sense of measure and proportion. Reduced to your own body, our first instrument, we learn to play it, drawing from it maximum resonance and harmony. With unflagging patience we refine and animate every cell as we return daily to the attack, unlocking and liberating capacities otherwise condemned to frustration and death…most of our fundamental attitudes to life have their physical counterparts in the body. Thus comparison and criticism must begin with the alignment of our own left and right sides to a degree at which even finer adjustments are feasible: or strength of will will cause us to start by stretching the body from the toes to the top of the head in defiance of gravity. Impetus and ambition might begin with the sense of weight and speed that comes with free-swinging limbs, instead of with the control of prolonged balance on foot, feet or hands, which gives poise. Tenacity is gained by stretching in various Yoga postures for minutes at a time, while calmness comes with quiet, consistent breathing and the expansion of the lungs. Continuity and a sense of universal come with the knowledge of the inevitable alternation of tension and relaxation in eternal rhythms of which each inhalation and exhalation constitutes one cycle, wave or vibration among the countless myriads which are the universe.” ~ Yehudi Menuhin (From the Foreword in ‘Light on Yoga’ by B.K.S. Iyengar)
Begin a journey that opens the mind to new ways of thinking, soothes the soul through calming techniques and meditation, and exercises the body through yoga for a complete well-rounded self.
Yoga for Life offers mindfulness, meditation, and yoga to adults, kids, teens, seniors, special needs and at-risk youth and is located in Danville, California. Yoga for Life serves the Bay Area including (but not limited to) Berkeley, Oakland, Antioch, Pittsburg, Concord, Orinda, Pleasant Hill, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Alamo, Danville, San Ramon, and Dublin.