Mindfulness is being aware of and reflecting upon what we are experiencing in the present moment. It was first taught by the Buddha in the sixth century BCE. Mindfulness is integral to Buddhist meditation and the foundation of Insight meditation.
Yoga originates in ancient Indian spiritual traditions and has been developing for several thousand years. It aims to achieve the unity of the body, breath and mind: its resulting effectiveness is contingent upon the synergy of these three modalities. Mindfulness has been introduced to yoga only recently in the west. It is unclear as to whether it was taught in the ancient yogic traditions of India.
Both of these spiritual practices have their roots within the ancient religious and philosophical teachings of the Indian subcontinent. Through many centuries, these traditions developed and expanded into a rich spectrum of spiritual practices.
Today, the practices of both Mindfulness and Yoga are being readily absorbed by the West as it searches to find strategies to deal with life's ever changing requirements.
In this new millennium the wisdom of both these ancient traditions is being accessed to develop emotional stability, reduce stress and enhance emotional intelligence and self awareness. Openness, understanding, clarity, connectedness, peace and contentment commonly result from the practice of mindfulness and yoga.
What is Mindfulness Yoga?
Heather's practice of both yoga and mindfulness has highlighted to her that mindfulness is integral to the practice of yoga. As such she teaches her yoga classes with an emphasis upon mindfulness, the awareness of the present moment experience.
Incorporated into her teaching is this mindful engagement, resulting in an ever deepening perceptual awareness of the body, observation of mind and understanding of emotions. Training the attention to remain engaged in the present moment develops a valuable tool with which to understand the interrelationship of mind and body. Thus yoga practiced mindfully translates into strength and flexibility, both physicaly, mentally and emotionally.
Heather's instruction draws attention to the four establishments of mindfulness; mindfulness of body, mindfulness of feelings, mindfulness of thoughts and mindfulness of the nature of existence.