Your yoga practice can be as much of a meditation as sitting still in Lotus Pose. You can reap the same rewards while you are practicing---a sense of grounding, focus, balanced energy, and stress release.
Here are four tips to a more mindful practice:
1) A Sense of Grounding: During your yoga practice assess which parts of your body are touching the floor as you practice. Mindfully push those parts into the floor as a way to engage your whole body and build strength.
2) Focus: We all struggle with staying present but the more we work at it the easier it gets. Just like our yoga practice! Be present and aware of your surroundings and let everything else go…the bills to pay, the presentation you have in the morning, the kids to pick up at school. You owe it to yourself to enjoy and experience the benefits from your practice.
3) Balanced Energy: As you transition between poses be aware of how your body moves. Pay attention to the opposite energies working together to hold your body up---such as in tree pose: you’re feet are rooting down to the earth while the crown of your head and your arms are moving towards the sky.
4) Stress release: Breathe! Check in with your breath while you are practicing. Is it rhythmic? Consistent? Or are you finding yourself holding your breath? Allow the prana to help you release stress and ease into the poses. Inhale. Exhale. Just Breathe!