For me, yoga is a mindfulness practice. It helps to rejuvenate the body, promotes weight reduction and gives emotional stability to the body. When I practice yoga, I take a moment to deliberately shift from a thoughtful state into a feeling state, shifting my awareness from my head into my heart. This action itself puts me in touch with the present, the source of life. When you are in touch with presence, yoga becomes a healing practice.
When you approach your yoga practice from a perspective of awareness, or ‘presence,’ your mind starts to relax and become clearer, more present. I believe that the greatest healing occurs when you have a clear and relaxed mind.
Let’s find how Yoga as a healing practice?
Nurture a healthy mind
When the mind is confused and restless, the lens through which we view the world is likewise confused and restless. When you clear the lens (the mind), and it becomes calm and clear, it reflects the very same back to you. With a lens that is clean and clear, you begin to see the truth of the moment.
There is so much importance on our physical body in relation to healing, how much exercise we should take, what to eat, etc. Yes, the body is very important, but I feel there is a small emphasis on how to nurture and maintain a healthy mind. You may have a healthy and well-functioning body, but if your mind is confused, fuelled by chaos and full of fear and restlessness, then you are most probably not happy. When your mind is clear, healthy, and calm, you have much more chance of being happy. If the physical body is unwell but the mind is healthy, then you’ll be better prepared to deal with it, to accept it with loving-kindness and to make the best of the situation.
Most of us are looking for peace within ourselves and the world around us. This is directly related to our ability to be with ourselves, which is a lot easier when your mind is calm, clear, and organized.
Developing internal energy for enhancing your healing practice
FOCUS ON THE BREATH
To access awareness while doing yoga, make a choice to focus on the breath, instead of thoughts, emotions, feelings, or perhaps even pain (not the sharp, shooting kind; if you experience that pain during your practice, immediately come out of it). Allow the thoughts, sensations, feelings, pains, and aches to be there – allow them to be experienced – but bring your attentiveness to the breath, while allowing everything else to move into the background.
It’s better to bring your alertness to your breath in a very light and gentle way while keeping your mind relaxed.
IMAGINE YOUR AWARENESS RESTING UPON YOUR BREATH LIKE A FEATHER ON A LEAF.
Again, why not try this right now. Feel deep inside yourself when you are reading the following words. Observe how it’s possible to be with your breath and read this text at the same time. When you are with your breath in your body, also feel inside your body. Feel the presence of your body.
Feeling this presence positively produces a longing to be with life as it shows itself at this moment. Not wanting anything; not excluding anything from it, other than what is right now. This conscious permitting of everything to be just as it is a real act of loving-kindness to yourself and the world around you.
And if you can do that at present, you can also do it in your yoga practice.
When you connect with your breath this way, you may feel an acceptance filled with love, rising from within, for everything including your thoughts, feelings, emotions, fears, judgments, pains and aches. For everything that is going on in your life. This profound, loving acceptance you start to feel, for everything, can only come from the heart. Remember the difference: the heart and awareness feel while the mind can only ponder on these things.
How healing method enhances your daily yoga practice
Practicing yoga this way is a wonderful gift to yourself; it opens you up to experiencing your real nature. When we connect too little with presence, with the source of life, the body starts using tiredness, pains, aches, and injury, etc. as a way to interconnect with us. Our job as yogis is to listen. The solution is deliberately connecting our being to its source: the here and now.
The more you regularly practice yoga with attentiveness, the more your mind and the heart will calm down and become clear. The more you can be with yourself and life as it is, the more your body will revive itself by connecting with presence – the source of life. Once you are out of your own way, life can do its natural work, bringing balance back to the mind and body.
To embrace ourselves with love, compassion, patience, and forgiveness means we no longer push our suffering away or get lost in it. We no longer feed our suffering in our daily life with skewed and destructive thoughts, speech, and bodily actions. Then we heal.