The new Fitness, is Mindfulness
Our attention gets hijacked by everything from the stress in our lives to the ding of our phones... and it's not a benefit to our health.
We’re living in an age of distraction, battered by our texts, videos, bingeworthy TV, and more. It’s not surprising our minds often feel like oatmeal.
But it turns out we’re not at the mercy of our runaway minds.
Mindfulness is the antidote. It's a large part of a hot yoga practice and it strengthens our ability to pay attention.
Our attention is fragile. But it is also powerful: its like a laser beam you can focus on whatever you choose, to strengthen your facility with any subject at all.
Internal distractions — everything from job stress to a craving for alcohol — and external distractions — like a thunderstorm weather alert on our phone screen — easily disrupt our attention. Whether the interruptions are significant or silly, they are hijacking of our attention resources
The answer? Mindfulness.
If you don't have a mindfulness practice like hot yoga, your attention shatters when you're under intense stress while people who regularly do mindfulness practice notice their attention actually gets better over time — even under stress.
Researchers have started to uncover more and more benefits associated with mindfulness, including reduced anxiety, protection from depression, and improved memory.
What is mindfulness? It’s about paying attention to the present moment with awareness and without emotional reactivity.
Its what we do in hot yoga.
Mindful breathing and mindful movement is part of the hot yoga routine. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced hot yogi, don't be surprised or disappointed if you find yourself retrieving your mind hundreds of times during a 60-minute hot yoga session. Do it mindfully - that means without “worrying,” “judging,” or "scolding” yourself.
If you try hot yoga and have trouble keeping your mind still, know that’s a common experience. Don't be discouraged — as with any new activity, you need to practice. The mind will wander, and that’s completely fine; your teacher will help you to gently return your attention to the yoga.
What’s most important is to really support yourself as you create the habit of practicing mindfulness in hot yoga, whether that means setting a consistent yoga schedule, setting multiple reminders on your phone to get to yoga, getting an accountability partner to remind you to take time to do this for yourself.
By reclaiming your own attention, you not only get to connect with the people who matter to you sooner rather than never...you get to connect with yourself again, the person you came here to be.