Mindfulness is the art of being present all the time, and the ability to calm the limbic system down to reduce fight or flight reactions. Mindfulness is a skill that is developed over a period of practice and has been known to take many forms for the last several centuries. One of the forms of mindfulness that I have learnt is while learning yoga. While most of yoga is practical and sets of “asanas”, the theory of yoga is based on mind- body alignment. Which is why yoga asanas never feel as vigorous or exhausting as western style workouts and over a period of time the mind and body align together and solve issues together instead of having diametrically opposite agenda’s, causing the human body stress.
Yoga-nidra or "yogi sleep" is a sleep-like state which one experiences during yoga meditations. The practice of yoga relaxation has been found to reduce tension and anxiety. The autonomic symptoms of high anxiety such as headache, giddiness, chest pain, palpitations, sweating, abdominal pain respond well to Yoga-Nidra. (Wikipedia)
I have been practicing Yoga-Nidra for about five years now. It is a process that takes 45 minutes everyday and aims to get the body and mind into a state of subconscious. They objective being that in that state of subconscious you can order your mind, or create “go to state”(Sankalp) for the mind and body to align to. Doing this with regularity helps create a sense of balance and alignment. I have been working on certain health issues and eating healthy. The other day I walked past a donut stall at the mall that had donuts with rich icing don it and it felt revolting to me. A few years ago I would have salivated at the thought of eating one, and not being able to resist the temptation eaten one and regretted the decision, since my body cannot handle high carbohydrate food. This was proof that over a period of time my body and mind are aligned and decisions of what foods are not good for me come quickly and easily without any struggle!
Kalpana Sinha is a Leadership and Organisation Professional. Her blog has reflections from her work experiences of over 20 years.