Mindful is simple yet it is complex, in that, it is a way of training yourself to simply focus on whatever is happening in the present moment, yet it can be one of the most transformational tools for personal and spiritual development. It’s no wonder it has been a buzzword in our modern world, with athletes, corporations and wellness professionals alike, all claiming its incredible benefits.
Benefits of practicing mindfulness include, but are not limited to: increased concentration, memory, immunity to colds and diseases, feelings of happiness and contentment; reduction in chronic pain, blood pressure, stress, anxiety, and depression.
Mindfulness practice has deep roots in Buddhist tradition, but you certainly do not need to be a Buddhist in order to apply its teachings and techniques to your life.
The definition of “yoga” is a bit more complex, as there is no single definition of the word, though in Sanskrit the literal translation is “union.” It is described as a state of connection and a body of techniques that allow us to connect to anything. The experience of having a conscious connection to something is a state of yoga—a joyful, blissful, fulfilling experience.
The term “yoga” is also used to describe a comprehensive practice and a way of life. It is estimated to be at least 5,000 years old, originating in India and brought to the west in the 1920s. Yoga has been described as the ancient Indian science of self-realization, or the ancient science of self-culture. Or as the renowned sage, Patanjali, puts it, yoga is “a method to stop thought waves”.
The real secret to yoga can possibly be summed up in one word: awareness. To many, the modern day understanding and practice of yoga is quite different, and perhaps quite a bit removed from its traditional meaning.