Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the base on which yoga and meditation rest. As we practice yoga and meditation, we are essentially practicing mindfulness. Why not extend the focus we employ during yoga and meditation into everyday tasks and experiences? Try not to worry about the past, try not to worry about the future just be in the here and now. Of course thoughts of the past and the future will come and go. The trick is to merely recognize them without judgment. It is a continual practice. Mindful living encourages positivity, gratitude for the moment, and peace. As we start observing what is in front of us, in the here and now, we focus on those little things in life. For example, when we go for a walk notice what is around you and truly take it in. What do you see? Hear? Smell? Do you pass others and acknowledge them with a smile or do you act as if they were not there? As you begin to notice, and be thankful for, the small things such as the color of the sky, the trees, the flowers, and those we pass along the way, you essentially live a deeper life. Peace comes, acceptance comes; stress and anxiety start to melt away.

image created by microyogi
image created by microyogi

As you adopt a practice of mindfulness, you will start do notice a shift in your awareness:

  1. You will develop a keen sense of curiosity for everyday things. You will cherish them more. The commute to work, arriving back home after a long day.
  2. You will learn the art of forgiveness for yourself and others.
  3. You will learn to practice compassion and learn to connect more deeply with others.
  4. You will learn to be ok with all that is not perfect.
  5. You will develop a greater trust in both yourself and others.
  6. You will learn that things come and go in life; you will also learn to accept and appreciate that.
  7. You will develop a sense of gratitude for the great moments in your life; and a sense of grace for those moments which seem horrible.

Of course this will not all come at once. There will be days when anxiety will try to rule the day. However, when you know you can slow down the tailspin into deep anxiety by thinking differently, perhaps the day can be saved and there may be some moments which you can be thankful for. To live in this day and age of stress, of the pressures created by our society, media, our peers, and our occupations we need something to help us through. We need to remember that life does not have to be about go, go, go and more, more, more, and bigger, bigger, bigger. Remember the little things, those things we can be grateful for. If you catch yourself feeling anxious about what’s to come in life, find one small thing to focus on during that moment. Perhaps it is a sunny day. Maybe it is raining. We can find gratitude for either situation, lessen our anxiety, and increase our happiness. Even if it is just by a hair, it is still progress. The practice will be life-long. Try to let go of self-judgment, accept your way of thinking and just be.

Live right now, not yesterday, not tomorrow. Live in today. In the now.


Disclaimer: All articles written on microyogi are opinions and not meant to serve as any kind of instruction for how to move your body. I am merely writing to serve as a means of trying to find my own answers. I am not a certified trainer or medical expert.

Flying in crow pose (Kakasana)

On Saturday morning I finally held a crow pose for longer than 5 seconds. I was elated as I’ve been trying to do this pose on and off for about 2 years! The thing that helped? Starting with my feet on a block at the lowest setting. This was a great tip from a new teacher! I think this gave my body an idea of how high my feet needed to be. I am extremely excited because now I can move on to head stand. For some reason I am approaching the inversion poses one at a time. I figured crow pose was the least scary upside down pose for me. Many articles actually tout it as a good beginner arm balance pose.

Beautiful sporty fit yogini woman practices yoga asana kakasana - crow pose in studioSo apart from looking and feeling awesome, five main benefits of holding this pose are:

Building arm strength

Building wrist strength

Builds core strength

Increased sense of balance

Prepares the mind and body for more challenging arm balances

 

Those with chronic wrist pain, carpel tunnel are advised to avoid this pose. As are women who are pregnant.

 

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you find your crow pose. Please also visit gaiamtv.com for help with this pose and other poses.

  1. From mountain pose move into a squat with hands on the floor shoulder distance apart.
  2. Lift your hips high while engaging your core muscles. Place your knees against your upper tricep muscles. Bend your elbows slightly to make a shelf for your elbows.
  3. Set your gaze forward of your hands begin to shift forward onto your arms. If you are new to this pose try lifting just one foot. This is a good modification for beginners to try. Work towards lifting both feet. Eventually work towards straightening your arms.
  4. Hold the pose for 10 seconds to 1 minute.

You can always use a yoga block to launch the crow pose from as I mentioned earlier. This really helped me figure out just how high my hips needed to be. If you look at the photo, her feet are in line with her chin. Additionally her hips and her gaze continue along the same plane.

Here is another source for reference from my awesome friend Tara Stiles. She advocates a gentle rocking back and forth flowing move to find your way into a crow pose in this short YouTube video.

Tara Stiles in Crow Pose.
Tara Stiles in Crow Pose.

 

Take your time and have fun trying to get into this pose.  If you feel like you need some more arm or core strength first, practice with some plank poses.

 

What is your favorite arm or inversion pose? What are you currently challenging yourself with? Do you have any additional tips or tricks for Crow Pose?

 

Thanks for reading and have fun!

 

 


Disclaimer: All articles written on Microyogi are opinions and not meant to serve as any kind of instruction for how to move your body. I am merely writing to serve as a means of trying to find my own answers. I am not a certified trainer or medical expert.