Why is mindfulness so important?
Increasingly research is showing that mindfulness has a huge impact on both our physical body and mind. It allows us to let go of judgment and slow our ruminating mind. On the surface mindfulness can reduce stress, anxiety and depression. On a deeper level it has been shown to reduce cell damage and lengthen our lives and it has been shown to bolster immune function so we are better able to fight illness like the common cold and potentially even diseases such as cancer.
When mindfulness is practiced regularly we develop brain patterns that allow us to bring stillness and peace of mind throughout our day-to-day life.
When we bring mindfulness into our day-to-day life we begin to peel away layers of our physical, emotional and spiritual being. We become more aware of our true Self and we begin to make meaningful and long lasting lifestyle changes that lead away from suffering and towards pure happiness.
How do we cultivate mindfulness?
We start with the physical practices of Yoga. Breath awareness is the foundation for opening blockages and is the beginning of awareness of the body. Physical postures strengthen, stretch, open and align the physical body. When breath and postures are combined we nurture mindfulness. Visualizations, mudras and sound, help open blockages and support our journey towards mindfulness. Meditation is the final stage of our journey towards mindfulness.
Meditation may seem illusive to many – stilling the mind can feel like an insurmountable task. When we prepare our mind and body properly and leave expectations at the door then we practice with an open mind. We cannot expect to be a good meditator the first time and without preparation.