Yes, and no.
Yes, yoga brings a lot of mindfulness to what you do with your body. You are focused and aware in a way that is different than many other ways to use your body.
But as much as yogis try to be mindful when they practice, yoga can sometimes be a little tricky. The precision of yoga poses can create the impression that your body isn’t good enough as it is or that you’re doing it wrong. You can impose an idea of the perfect pose onto your body and try to force it to obey.
This is an example of imposing the mind over the body, rather than the body and mind as one.
Sometimes, you can see this when yogis are injured. If their bodies can no longer do a pose completely, they feel frustrated or dissatisfied. They focus on their image of the pose, rather than being present with the pose as it is that day.
It’s normal. We all get caught in our ideas.
But what would you discover if you let your body lead instead of your mind?
Deepening your Mind/Body Connection in Yoga
In this video, I talk about 3 ways to blend a new view of mindfulness with your yoga practice.
At 9:09, I describe flowing from open awareness to focused awareness as you do your practice. Each reveals different information about the pose and your relationship to it.
At 11:56, I talk about working with sensations and non-sensations. Yoga poses are a great way to explore your relationship with your body when you can both feel it and can not feel it.
And at 14:50, I explain how working with end-range and mid-range movement can deepen your relationship to your body and its sensations.
Using mindfulness in yoga and learning to be present with your body–however it is–can deepen your yoga practice but more importantly, deepen your relationship with your body.