What Is Mindful Hatha Yoga? (excerpt from Mindful Yoga Academy)
At its core yoga is a mindfulness practice. And adding formal mindfulness practice helps us notice the impermanent and always changing nature of breath, body sensations, feeling tone, thoughts and emotions. This awareness deepen our sensitivity to our mind-body connection and support insight and wisdom to arise in our yoga practice.
“Based on a mix of the ancient wisdom of traditional Hatha Yoga and modern Mindfulness based Stress Reduction (MBSR) practices, with a healthy dose of the latest research in mind-body science and therapies, Mindful Hatha Yoga & MBSR Yoga Therapy invites you to tune into your body and be kind to yourself. It is a path, a journey, not to get somewhere else, but to be where we are, as we are in this very moment, with this very breath, whether the experience is pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. The approach is less about performance than about the exploration of experience moment by moment.”
“The first foundation of Mindful Hatha Yoga & MBSR Yoga Therapy is Ahimsa (do no harm) to yourself and your students, and at its heart we practice the 8 attitudinal foundations of mindfulness – non judging, patience, beginners mind, trust, non striving, acceptance, letting go and self compassion. This creative interplay between witnessing (mindfulness) and compassion is emphasised or present as a background theme of our practice and teaching. We would also say that the witness consciousness and the compassionate heart are fundemental features of all integrative forms of yoga. Together they make us whole.”
“Our yoga practice is the perfect time for cultivating the Yama Ahimsa of ‘do no harm’ by stepping out of Automatic Pilot and into each part of our practice with a beginners mind – each breath, each sensations, each thought and emotion offer us an entirely new experience to explore.”
Yoga Sutras II:16 “Heyam Dukham Anagatam – “Suffering that has not yet come can, and should be avoided” really supports our vision of teaching yoga. We often ask “as you practice yoga can you relinquish the goal of physical accomplishment for the intention of cultivating awareness of well-being, peace, joy and happiness?”