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Practicing mindfulness to reduce overwhelm

    Mindfulness: Looking for peace in our crazy-busy days

    How many times have you felt overwhelmed with your thoughts and didn’t know what to do? Did this cause you stress or anxiety? It’s no surprise that many of us experience this as our society today is “go-go-go” and we’re being barraged with distractions and consuming more and more media all the time.

    Many corporations have responded to this through offering mindfulness training programs, and giving employees access to mental health resources. There are also a lot of Apps out there, like Headspace and Calm, that can help.

    Yoga classes are another opportunity to practice mindfulness. Not only by being aware of our thoughts but also by learning to sense and feel our bodies. For example, try lying on the floor, with your legs extended. Become aware of how your legs fall out. Do they fall out evenly? Now notice your pelvis. Is the weight in your pelvis even or tilted a bit to one side? Notice your shoulders. Do they touch the floor, or are they rounded up off the floor? Is there a difference in one shoulder over the other?

    If you want to try doing a full body scan such as this, I have prepared an audio version of what I teach in class. You can find that here.

    These awarenesses are valuable as they provide insight into the state of your body. If we are not aware of what IS, then we certainly can’t go about changing anything.

    Mindfulness Yoga

    My Mindfulness Yoga class incorporates mindfulness into a movement practice. The movements are slow and gentle, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they lack effort. Those who are new to yoga will learn a lot about their bodies, and those who are familiar with yoga will get an opportunity to slow down and check in, practicing mindfulness. You will learn about where you might be compensating and how to be more efficient in your movement patterns. This practice of mindfulness will also help you manage ‘information overload’ and improve your ability to pay attention.

    Key components:

    * If you have injuries or tight/sore areas: only move in a range that does NOT increase pain
    * If you have pain, this class will help to find the source of your pain – that is, what movement patterns you may have that are not serving you, whether you know it or not (often not!)
    * Build strength, not strain: If you want to develop strength, in a non-bracing/non-grippy way, this class teaches you how, but it might be humbling to discover that what you think is strength is actually a muscular compensation
    * Not your typical yoga class – we may break down some yoga poses in order to identify areas that are weak, compensatory or don’t move well

    As an alternative to this class, I’ve created 7 tips that will boost your yoga practice and help you practice mindfulness. Please click here to download this free guide.

    Practicing mindfulness to connect to your body will help you move better and more functionally, as well as reduce the feeling of overwhelm.

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