Connect with us
cookieFlags="samesite=none;secure"

Yoga

What Is Mudra? 9 Most Powerful Mudras Explained

Published

on

what is mudra image

In the tradition of Yoga Tattva Mudra Vigyan or Yoga Mudra, mudras are performed along with the practice of asanas, pranayama, concentration, and meditation. Mudras strengthen the connection of internal organs with their corresponding centers in the brain. The correct practice of mudras will help you to restore the correct work of organs, improve health, fill your body with vital energy, and receive other benefits. If you’re asking yourself: “What is mudra?” and want to learn more about it then this article is for you!

What Is Mudra?

“Mudra” can be translated as “seal”, “mark”, or “gesture”.

Mudras are symbolic gestures often practiced with the hands and fingers.

Connecting the fingers in certain combinations, you can activate the meridians and direct energy throughout the body, restore the flow of energy and eliminate “breakdowns” in diseased organs.

Thus, each position of the hands has its own meaning and can benefit us if we learn to use this knowledge correctly.

How Do Mudras Work?

Mudras image

Different positions of the fingers have the ability to close or clear the energy channels. In addition, performing this or that mudra, we affect the biologically active points of the palms and fingers.

There are about 180 different finger positions. Obviously, it is not necessary to know all the mudras in order to start performing Yoga Mudra. It would be enough to start with a couple of basic mudras of your choice.

Mudras are invented for the correct redirection of energy in the body, for the control of prana and for changing the psycho-emotional state. Also, with their help, you can eliminate problems in the body and in the mind by pressing on particular acupuncture points.

Each finger of the hand corresponds to certain energy. And each phalanx of each finger is responsible for a specific part of the body.

The index finger is associated with knowledge, wisdom, and self-confidence. It is connected to our life force.

The middle finger is responsible for patience and the ability to control feelings. This finger is connected to the heart and Anahata chakra.

The ring finger is responsible for health and vitality. This finger is connected to the respiratory and nervous systems.

The pinkie is associated with a creative component of the personality and the ability to see beauty. This finger is responsible for the pelvic organs.

The thumb is responsible for our ego, will, and logic. Also, this finger is associated with wisdom, mind, and awareness.

In addition, each finger is connected with different parts of the body and internal organs. For example, the upper phalanx of the thumb is a “projection” of the head. The ring and middle fingers correspond to the right and left foot, and the pinkie and index fingers correspond to the right and left hand.

By performing mudras with your hands, you definitely stimulate those parts of the body and organs that are directly connected to the energy channels that pass through the palms and fingers.

5 Fingers And 5 Elements

Did you know that each finger is associated with one of the 5 elements?

Thumb represents the Fire element (Agni).

The index finger is associated with the energy of the Air element.

The middle finger is responsible for the Ether.

The ring finger connects us to the energy of the Earth.

The pinkie represents Water.

Fingers Corresponding to the 5 Elements image

Thus, by performing mudras, you redistribute the energy in your body. You regulate its flow through the opening and closing of energy channels as you do when practicing Hatha yoga. The only difference is that in Hatha yoga you achieve this effect by taking different body poses whereas in Yoga Mudras you do the same but with your fingers.

The thumb, representing the element of Fire, is considered the main finger in Yoga mudra. With whatever other finger the tip of the thumb comes in contact, it will strengthen the element that this finger or a combination of several fingers represents.

It turns out that if you connect the tips of the thumb and ring finger, the element of Air will increase through the Fire element. This is how Gyan Mudra (Mudra of Knowledge) is created.

When you connect the thumb and the middle finger then you activate the cosmic energy or ether. This is how Aakash mudra is created.

If you connect the pads of the thumb and ring finger you will activate the energy of the Earth. This is how the Prithvi mudra is performed.

The combination of the thumb and the pinkie increases the Water element in our bodies. This is how the Varun mudra is performed.

How To Perform Mudras?

Many mudras are quite simple to perform. Once you have mastered the basics, you can move on to more advanced finger combinations in mudras if you want it.

No special preparations are required to perform the mudras. You just need to take a meditative pose, choose one of the asanas (Sukhasana, Vajrasana or Padmasana) and while you are meditating, you can easily hold the mudra.

If you are not in the mood to meditate in one of the yoga asanas, you can simply relax and sit comfortably and begin to perform the mudra.

You can perform mudras anywhere: when you’re riding in public transportation, when you are listening to music or watching a movie, etc. Mudras have one very attractive factor: whether you are focused on their performance or not, whether you deeply believe in their healing power or not – they will work anyways (regardless of the situation and your mood).

Mudras are recommended to be performed daily. The duration of the practice should be 30-45 minutes so that you can feel its therapeutic effect. For convenience, you can divide this time period into several sessions of 15 minutes.

Usually, mudras are performed with both hands, as this activates the work of both hemispheres of the brain. You not only work to correct the problems that have accumulated in your physical body but also stimulate the work of the mind, which, in turn, has a positive impact on the emotional state.

9 Most Simple And Effective Mudras

Enough theory! Let’s start our mudra practice! Let me share with you 9 most simple yet very effective mudras you can start practice today!

Prana Mudra (Mudra of Life)

Mudra of life Prana mudra image

This mudra is designed to increase energy, restore energy potential, give strength, inspiration, increase endurance and even improve vision. It provides energy and health. Also, it reduces hunger pangs during fasting and gives you a good night’s sleep.

How to perform:

Touch the tip of the thumb with the ring finger and the pinkie finger together, while keeping the other two fingers straight. Take a regular breath, breathe in and exhale for a few seconds. Perform this mudra for 30-40 minutes daily.

Padma Mudra (Lotus Mudra)

Lotus mudra image

The Lotus Mudra opens the Heart Chakra (Anahata). It is a symbol of purity, light, and beauty emerging from the darkness.

The message of the lotus mudra is to stay connected to your roots, open yourself to the light and realize that the greatest sense of steadiness in life is an open heart.

The Lotus Mudra helps to heal a “broken heart”, strengthens unconditional love for all living beings or for a particular person, opens the heart, helps to attract a soul mate, drains out the misunderstanding, helps to release tension. It is also practiced to enhance the fire element in the body.

How to perform:

Take a cross-legged position. Bring the base of the palms together at the heart center, touching the thumbs and pinky fingers together. Spread the rest of the fingers out like the lotus flower opening toward the sunlight. Close your eyes and take several deep and long breaths.

Apana Mudra

Apana mudra image

Apana Mudra is a Cleansing – Energy Gesture. The Sanskrit word “Apana” refers to a cleansing form of subtle energy in our bodies that moves downwards and outwards.

Apana Mudra is especially beneficial to women, helping to regulate the menstrual cycle and easing childbirth.

This mudra strengthens the immune system on all levels, detoxifies the body and balances the elements of space and earth within.

Apana Mudra improves digestion and helps clear the skin. It can help you to feel grounded and process difficult emotions.

Most importantly, it helps to harmonize the flow of Qi.

How to perform:

Take a comfortable seated position, stand or lie down. You can also hold the hand gesture whilst performing a walking meditation. Using both hands bring the tips of your middle and ring fingers to the tip of your thumb, keep your other fingers extended and relaxed. This Mudra can be held for up to 45 minutes a day. the time could be broken down into 15-minute sections. To feel the benefits it would be helpful to hold the position for at least 10 minutes a day.

Gyan Mudra (Mudra of Knowledge)

Mudra of knowledge image

The Mudra of Knowledge evokes the most expansive version of the self, so you can flow through your life lessons with ease and calm. It stimulates wisdom and knowledge.

This beautiful mudra helps to eliminate stress, sadness, and sorrow. It gives hope and confidence in the future. In addition, Gyan mudra improves concentration and helps those who need to process large amounts of information, memorize and concentrate. This mudra improves memory and attention.

The Gyan Mudra:

  • stimulates the Root chakra;
  • eases tension and depression;
  • calms down;
  • brings spiritual openness and ease in meditation;
  • boosts the air element;
  • stimulates the brain;
  • empowers the mind, nervous system and pituitary gland;
  • helps enhance concentration;
  • prevents insomnia.

How to perform:

Lightly touch the tip of the thumb with the tip of the index finger, keeping the other fingers straight but relaxed. Do this with both the right and left hand and hold for at least a few minutes. In Kundalini Yoga, this mudra is usually practiced with the hands resting on the knees and the elbows straight.

Varun Mudra (Mudra of Water)

Varun image

This powerful mudra helps to improve kidneys and liver health. It helps to remove excess fluid from the body, accelerates metabolism and improves health. Also, it reduces the dryness of the skin and helps to improve its luster and softness.

The Mudra of Water is known as a seat of mental clarity. It encourages openness and fluid communication and balances the water element in the body.

How to perform:

Sit in a cross-legged position. Slightly touch the tip of the thumb with the little finger, then put some pressure and see the difference. There is no time limit for doing this Mudra and can be done anytime and anywhere.

Mudra of Earth (Prithvi Mudra)

Prithvi Mudra Image

This is the mudra of protection. If you suffer because of the strong pressure of the surrounding world, if events or specific people take away your peace, perform the Prithvi mudra and you will feel that you are under the protection of the natural forces. It helps to relieve stress quickly.

The mudra of Earth can provide emergency assistance in moments of nervous breakdown, hysteria or severe stress. With regular performance, it helps to achieve inner harmony and improve self-esteem.

The Prithvi mudra increases the earth element within the body while decreasing the fire element. The earth element is a vital component of bodily tissues like bones, cartilage, skin, hair, nails, flesh, muscles, tendons, internal organs, etc.

Also, by performing the Mudra of Earth you’re balancing your Root chakra.

How to perform:

The Prithvi Mudra is created by touching the ring finger to the thumb, with the rest of the fingers extended. It is recommended to begin by holding this mudra in 10-minute increments, slowly building up to 45 minutes a day.

Vajra Arrow Mudra

Vajra Arrow Image

This mudra helps to heal the cardiovascular system. If the body has accumulated too much energy or if the mental tension has reached its peak, perform the Vajra Arrow Mudra. This powerful Mudra can help you to accumulate more energy in your body.

How to perform:

Put your right and left index fingers together. Cross the rest of your fingers. Press your thumbs against your index fingers.

Anjali Mudra (The Mudra of Gratitude)

Anjali Mudra Image

Anjali Mudra stabilizes the lower chakras and opens the heart chakra.

It is a mudra of devotion and offering, of balance and composure, of returning to the heart. It connotes gratitude for self and others. This is a very peaceful and safe gesture, and you will often see it come out unconsciously. It is often used alongside the word Namaste in salutations.

How to perform:

Taking your two hands in front of your chest, press the palms together. Extend the pressure up through each finger and the thumbs to the very tips. Keep the sides of your fingers touching. There will naturally be a little hollow of space between the centers of your two palms. Relax your shoulders away from your ears.

Bringing the joined hands to your Anahata chakra with the forearms parallel to the floor stretches the wrists and directs your awareness to your heart center.

Bringing the mudra in your Third eye (Ajna chakra) focuses your attention on your intuition.

Perform the Mudra of Gratitude at least 10 minutes a day.

Kashyapa Mudra

Kashyapa Mudra Image

This is a powerful protection Mudra you can use anytime you face toxic people, energy vampires, or people with bad attitudes. Also, if you are an empath, this mudra will protect you from absorbing the negative energy of people around you. In other words, this is the mudra you need to protect your energy. It balances and grounds you while creating a seal against negative energy.

How to perform:

Place the thumb underneath the index and middle fingers, letting the tip of the thumb poke out, and make a fist.

Conclusion

Start by mastering the basic mudras and practicing them in your daily meditations. Then you can pick more advanced ones. Your fingers will eventually get used to new positions, and the daily mudra practice will bring not only positive results to improve your health, but also the quality of your life. Be patient, be consistent, and the rest will follow!

Sometimes our bodies give us clues. If at some point you feel like you want to fold your hands and fingers in a certain way and stay in this position – just let it happen. Observe and accept what will happen during this practice. Your body intuitively knows what you need at the moment!


Katya Ki is the Founder of SOLANCHA Magazine, a Metaphysical Expert, a Reiki Master, and Human Rights Attorney. She has been studying Eastern metaphysics, cosmology, and esotericism for almost 20 years now. And she's still discovering new knowledge, which is hidden in ancient teachings. During her pilgrimage to the monastery of Saint Catherine in Egypt, she discovered the SOLANCHA System. This is how the SOLANCHA journey started!

Moving

Demystifying Aerial Yoga: The New Yoga Trend

Published

on

What Is Aerial Yoga Image

Aerial yoga has become one of the most Instagrammable wellness trends. This new concept that is quickly becoming popular amongst devoted yogis and beginners alike. What does it mean? What is in store for you, especially when you are self-isolating due to a global pandemic? And which basic exercises can you use for your practice? But first, let us understand this practice.

The History

Aerial yoga dates back to 1991 in New York. Christopher Harrison, a Broadway choreographer and former gymnast came up with the practice. At that time, all he wanted were aerial moves that a group of gymnastic athletes could do when they retired from the competition. However, its success made the practice a hit and spread nationwide.

Today, you can enjoy a fulfilling aerial yoga session at any Crunch gyms for barre practice. Or, enroll for Unnata Aerial Yoga in various studios nationwide. And, if you prefer the privacy of your home, get a hammock and workout videos, and you can start your aerial yoga exercises at home.

What Is Aerial Yoga?

Aerial Yoga Image

Aerial yoga is a hybrid type of yoga that combines traditional yoga poses, Pilates, and dance with the use of a hammock.

Aerial yoga involves using a sling-like hammock made of a silky fabric and hanging from the ceiling. This hammock will support your full body weight as you engage in various poses, using the sling as your assistant. Think of doing headstands, pushups, back-flips, swings, and triceps dips while suspended in the air.

If you are steady, expect to crush your in-shape goals in no time. The yoga is so powerful; trainers describe it as a moderate-intense workout. Hence, it can borrow from ballet, HIIT, and Pilates, to feature in an athletic curriculum for such sports.  Notably, a study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) on women doing aerial yoga found that doing three, 50-minute aerial yoga sessions a week for six weeks can: –

  • Help cut weight by 2.5 pounds on average
  • Reduce body fat by 2%
  • Trim the waist by 1 inch
  • Raise the VO2 max by 11%

Aerial Yoga Benefits

Aerial fitness Image

Despite starting as a high-end workout for the elite in New York, aerial yoga is now easy for anyone to practice. All you need is a hammock and the urge to grow your fitness level. This routine offers the following unique benefits for each participant: –

#1: Burns Fat

Besides the known scientific proof of how aerial yoga can help the participants to lose weight, this yoga has a significant effect on your body fat. The activities you engage in offer a full-body workout for cardio and strength training. Hence, at the end of an hour’s practice, the participant will have engaged every muscle in their body.

#2: Boost Fitness Level

There are at least ten parameters you check when gauging your fitness level. These are: –

  • The plank exercise – Measures the strength and stability of your core
  • The head-turning activity – Checks for neck flexibility
  • The vertical jump test – How high can you jump?
  • Push-ups – Checks for your upper body strength
  • Wall sits – Checks for leg muscle strength and endurance
  • Loop the loop – Confirms posture and shoulder movements
  • Waist to hip ratio – Measures fat concentration around the waist in comparison to the hip area
  • 12-minute run or walk – Measures cardiovascular fitness
  • Resting heart rate – Indicates the robustness of the cardiovascular system-
  • Wet footprint test – Checks for pronation and supination

Aerial yoga can help you complete all the fitness goals as per the above parameters. For example, the training assists you to connect to your core, similar to doing planks. And, when you work out on gravity, you free the tension in the joints and also correct your posture and flexibility.

#3: Beginner-Friendly

Antigravity for beginners image

Christopher Harrison’s gain in using aerial yoga for the first time shows that for sure, anyone can do it. You don’t need any prior training, any specialist sportswear, or any fancy gear to get your body back in shape.

#4: Makes Tough Workouts Fun

Are you practicing for your acrobat’s competitions? Well, your one-hour long session of aerial yoga will be a fun experience, because, this yoga makes it seamless to learn new gymnastic tricks. And, if you are training for your ballet, you can also perform many stunts with little help from the barre. Likewise, if you never used to enjoy your workouts, with aerial yoga, you will be looking forward to your next training session each time.

#5: Excellent for the Abs and Cardio

Aerial yoga is excellent for achieving that ripped stomach you always wanted. Its off-the-ground moves will engage your core, improve your stability, and curve that six-pack abs for a boost in self-confidence. Similarly, any lady struggling with excessive weight in the upper body will experience strengthening of the upper body in about six weeks. In this time, they will notice more defined shoulders and arms. This way, ladies can sculpt and firm the body they always wanted.

#6: Assists in Mastering Yoga Mat Poses

Silk wraps used in aerial yoga offer excellent support for various yoga poses. The wraps give you a feel of how you should turn when on the mat. Similarly, if you struggle with inversions or any other back-breaking poses, opt for the aerial yoga to master such mat poses.

Tips for Practicing Aerial Yoga at Home

aerial hammock image

Now that you have an idea of what to expect from aerial yoga, here are some tips to get you started: –

  • Practice it with an open mind. Allow yourself to explore your body and enjoy the experience.
  • Hydrate your body before practice. Avoid overindulging in alcohol or food. You don’t want to hang upside down, swing, or move up and down with a full stomach.
  • Wear tight-fitting, comfortable clothes to minimize friction. Shorts should reach below the knee. Avoid tops that are too revealing as they can get uncomfortable when doing your flips.
  • Enhance your safety by removing all jewelry before starting your session. Hair clips, piercings, or rings may get caught up in the hammock and cause an accident.
  • If training as a group, use mild perfume on your body.

Conclusion

Aerial yoga is ideal for everyone, including persons living with a disability, nursing an injury, or struggling with obesity. You can start by enlisting at a local studio. Find out about the studio’s policy and prepare well. Then, continue the practice in the comfort of your home. Or better still, watch videos from yoga gurus to learn and start practicing at home.


Continue Reading

Yoga

The Essence And Benefits Of Sheetkari Pranayama

Published

on

Benefits Of Sheetkari Pranayama Image

Sheetkari pranayama is a breathing practice that cools the body and reduces thirst. Therefore, performing this pranayama will be especially beneficial during hot summer days when you want to naturally restore body temperature, protect it from overheating and dehydration. In this article, I will share with you the essence and benefits of Sheetkari pranayama and will give you step-by-step instructions for this practice.

What Is Pranayama?

Pranayama is a system of breathing exercises that can significantly increase your energy level and provide many different health benefits.

Prana‘ is the Sanskrit word for breath, “life force”, or “vital principle”. ‘Ayāma‘ can be translated as “the suspension of breath” or “control”. Thus, “pranayama” can be translated as “control over vital energy”.

According to Patanjali, pranayama is the length of time between inhalation and exhalation. During this period, the time of assimilation of prana increases, the fluctuations of the mind decrease and the perception expands. During pranayama practice, the nerve impulses in some parts of the body are suspended, and the structure of brain waves is harmonized. Therefore, pranayama is one of the most important elements of Hatha yoga.

What Is Sheetkari Pranayama?

Sheetkari pranayama is a yogic breathing practice that calms the mind and cools the body. The sound “shee” or “sheet” is made during inhalation in this practice. The Sanskrit word kari means ‘that which produces’. Therefore Sheetkari can be translated as the “Pranayama that produces that sound ‘shee’”. In English, the practice is usually called ‘the hissing breath’ or ‘the cooling breath’.

Sheetkari pranayama is a variation of the Sheetali Pranayama. In Sheetkari pranayama, the tongue is not rolled into a tube; instead, it is rolled up to touch the upper palate. The teeth are then clenched and the lips are kept apart. Those who find it difficult to perform Sheetali Pranayama can easily practice Sheetkari pranayama and get similar benefits.

Sheetkari Pranayama is usually performed after practicing other asanas and pranayamas.

Benefits Of Sheetkari Pranayama

hissing breath pranayama image

Sheetkari Pranayama has many benefits. Here are some of them:

  • Calms the nervous system;
  • Purifies the blood;
  • Treats diseases of the tongue, mouth, throat, and nose;
  • Normalizes high blood pressure;
  • Treats diseases of the liver;
  • Normalizes body temperature;
  • Relieves sleepiness and laziness;
  • Energizes;
  • Stimulates body functions to digest, move, and eliminate the food (improves digestion);
  • Improves the health of teeth and gums;
  • Cures fevers, enlarged spleen, colic, and disorders of the bile;
  • Eliminates the feeling of hunger and thirst;
  • Increases mental capacity;
  • Supports mental health;
  • Reduces anxiety;
  • Cools and relaxes the entire body and mind;
  • Balances Pitta dosha (heat) and neutralizes Kapha and Vata doshas.

Contra-Indications of Sheetkari Pranayama

Keep in mind the following precautions before you get started:

  1. In this practice, breathing occurs through the mouth, so the air does not have time to heat up and clear. In order not to provoke bronchitis and angina, do not perform this pranayama in the cold season and in a room with polluted air.
  2. Sitkari pranayama reduces the amount of heat produced by the excretory organs. Therefore, this pranayama is not recommended for people suffering from constipation.
  3. This pranayama should not be practiced if you are suffering from heart problems.
  4. Those who are suffering from low blood pressure should be cautious as this pranayama may lower your blood pressure even more.
  5. If you have a cold, cough, asthma, bronchitis or other respiratory diseases refrain from practicing Sheetkari Pranayama.
  6. Avoid practicing Sheetkari pranayama during cold days since cold air can aggravate your lungs.
  7. It is not recommended to practice this pranayama during pregnancy.

How to Perform Sheetkari Pranayama?

Now let me share with you quick and simple instructions on how to perform Sheetkari pranayama.

  1. Sit in a comfortable position, legs crossed, back straight, eyes closed.
  2. Gently press your lower and upper teeth together. Separate your lips as much as possible and expose your teeth to the air (as if you smiled).
  3. Take a breath through clenched teeth and focus on the hissing sound. Feel the cool air coming in. Raise your chin towards the ceiling.
  4. At the end of inhalation, close your mouth and relax the tongue.
  5. Exhale through your nose without opening your mouth and feel the gush of coolness into your nervous system and mind.

Repeat up to 20 times.

Additional Tips:

  • Sheetkari pranayama should be practiced in hot weather, as well as after vigorous asana or other pranayama practices.
  • Never practice this pranayama in cold air – it can damage your lungs.
  • Stop practicing Sheetkari pranayama if you feel any discomfort.

The Bottom Line

Sheetkari pranayama is quite a simple yet very effective pranayama. Its practice will help you cool your body and get rid of thirst, which is very convenient in situations when you are in a hot environment for a long time without access to water. Many women noticed that Sheetkari pranayama can help with hot flashes during menopause and balance mood swings.

As you can see, Sheetkari pranayama has many benefits, however, it is not recommended to practice in a cool room with working AC or during a cold season. Since when performing Sheetkari pranayama the air does not enter through the nose as usual, but through the mouth, it does not have time to warm up. Therefore, inhaling cold air can lead to angina, bronchitis, or other respiratory diseases.


Continue Reading

Yoga

How To Change The Perception Of Your Body With Yoga

Published

on

Change Your Perception Of Your Body Image

The sad fact is that about 95 percent of women and 30 percent of men have issues about the way their bodies look. We, modern humans, have a very unstable perception of our bodies: from showing off our over sexual images on social media to absolute body-hate and not wanting to see ourselves in the mirror. We quickly go from one polarity to another, however, both of them have nothing to do with self-love. If your perception of your body is dependent on how much you weigh or if your muscles are toned enough, then you are most likely a prisoner of a delusional self-image made by society norms and standards.

The unhealthy tendency of modern people is that we all struggle with bad body image from time to time. Our relationship with our bodies and ourselves is always changing depending on the situation or circumstance. It takes constant awareness, mindfulness, and willingness to create a balanced and harmonious relationship with our bodies. But, unfortunately, most of us are too busy with self-hate and self-pity that we can’t hear what our bodies are trying to tell us.

Ancient traditions and mindfulness practices offer us practical ways to stabilize our relationship with our bodies. And one of them is yoga. In this article, we want to share with you how yoga practice can change your perception of your body and create a healthy and harmonious relationship with it!

4 Ways Yoga Can Positively Affect Your Body Image

Now let’s take a deeper look at what 4 solutions yoga offers you to change your perception of your body.

#1: Mindfulness through movement

yoga self love image

Yoga helps us create a good relationship with our bodies through movement.

In yoga, we do not try to prove anything to ourselves or to others. Rather, performing each asana is our personal way of cultivating harmony. Every time we face the challenge of new asanas, patiently endure discomfort, and respect all our bodily and emotional experiences, we express gratitude to our body.

When performing asanas, pay attention to how much your body can do – how it allows you to twist, stretch, balance, and bend. Notice all the different parts of the body that make this or that asana possible and thank them. In this way, you can cultivate awareness of the power of your body, and, as a result, change your perception of your body.

#2: Mindfulness through positive self-talk

yoga positive self talk image

One of the best lessons yoga teaches us is to focus on our opportunities instead of limitations.

It’s always so easy to get influenced by our negative self-image, to see that there is always something wrong with us, judge our bodies, and compare them with others’. Such negativity makes us rigid and stifles our natural playfulness.

Yoga can help us let go of the habit of negative self-talk and self-judgment.

Next time you practice yoga, pay attention to how you talk to yourself and to your body. Listen to your inner talk. Are you criticizing yourself for not being flexible enough? Are you comparing your yoga skills to others? Learn to talk to yourself in a caring positive way. Only use positive and compassionate words in your self-talk. Develop the skill of practicing yoga joyfully and cheerfully, and not with judgment and perfectionism. Remember – yoga is not just the asanas but also your inner growth and the self-realization that is happening during your practice.

#3: Mindfulness through observation

yoga mindfulness practice image

It is impossible to establish a good relationship with your body if you do not break out of the vicious circle of judgment and self-criticism. In order to let go of these negative habits yoga suggests us to take an observer’s position.

The observer’s position is neutral. You observe your practice, your life, your body without judging it – whether it’s good or bad. You observe but don’t shape the result of your observation into the form of opinion.

When you practice yoga, just notice everything that you feel – your breathing, the way different parts of your body touch the floor, the sensations in your muscles, the thoughts rushing through your head. Just notice everything without judging. As you get used to practicing this way, you will notice that you have become more aware of your body’s capabilities, as well as its unique qualities. And there is no need of judgement or opinion – whether it’s good or bad, it is rather a neutral state of noticing the results of your observation.

#4: Focus on the present moment

yoga changes body perception image

Yoga is the best practice to cultivate presence.

When we think negatively about our bodies, we are not present in the moment. We are mentally transported to the past or future by comparing ourselves to how we used to look in the past or how we want to look in the future. As a result, we never appreciate and love the bodies we have this very moment. You are taking your focus away from the body that needs to be loved NOW, that needs to be appreciated NOW, and needs to be noticed and accepted NOW! However, it’s never good enough in the present moment.

We have high expectations of how our bodies have to look in order for us to love ourselves. This is how pressure and stress get created. And the most dangerous thing about this mindset is that our bodies can feel what we think of them. They feel our hate, our stress, our high expectations. And often, these negative emotions create such a big pressure in our bodies that they start to get sick.

Moreover, our feelings of shame and guilt lead to a loss of connection with the present moment, and it becomes even more difficult for us to feel confident about our bodies.

Through breathing exercises and yoga asanas, we learn to be “here and now” – and this is an important factor in order to reduce anxiety and negative thoughts.

Our breath connects us to the present moment. So take a little time to just sit and observe it. Observe how your breathing affects your ability to balance and twist. Observe how conscious breathing changes how you talk to yourself and how you perceive your body. With every exhale let go of negative self-image. With every inhale, fill your body in with self-love and positivity.

The Bottom Line

Mindful movement, self-talk, observation, and focusing on the present moment are four keys that you can use to change your perception of your body towards a positive self-image, self-love, self-acceptance, and awareness. If you start using mindfulness during your yoga practice, very soon you will notice that you are becoming more mindful in your everyday life. You will become more mindful in your self-talk which will help you to create a positive self-image and more confidence in life.


Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Health

Essential Oils For Chakras Image Essential Oils For Chakras Image
Healing5 days ago

Proper Ways Of Using Essential Oils For Chakras

In this article, I will share with you how to use essential oils for chakras properly. I will tell you...

Hunza People Secrets Image Hunza People Secrets Image
Health7 days ago

Meet The Hunza People Who Never Get Sick And Live Up To 160 Years!

The Hunza river valley (the border of India and Pakistan) is called the “Oasis of youth”. The inhabitants of this...

High Vibration Foods Image High Vibration Foods Image
Food2 weeks ago

High Vibration Foods: Raise Your Consciousness Through Diet

In nature, all living beings strive for harmony – harmony of matter and harmony of consciousness. A harmonious state of...

Three Ayurvedic Doshas Image Three Ayurvedic Doshas Image
Health2 weeks ago

How To Become The Master Of Your Mood: 7 Tips For Each Ayurvedic Dosha

Our mood impacts the quality of our lives significantly. If you are in a bad mood and can’t control your...

What Is Aerial Yoga Image What Is Aerial Yoga Image
Moving4 weeks ago

Demystifying Aerial Yoga: The New Yoga Trend

Aerial yoga has become one of the most Instagrammable wellness trends. This new concept that is quickly becoming popular amongst...

three doshas image three doshas image
Health1 month ago

The Three Doshas: Understanding the Real Cause Of Your Health Problems

According to Ayurveda, not only our emotional state, but also our physical state depends on our state of mind, and...

How to balance Pitta Dosha Image How to balance Pitta Dosha Image
Health1 month ago

3 Ways To Balance Pitta Dosha And Cool Off This Summer

According to Ayurveda, we all have all three doshas, but some of us are dominated by Pitta dosha. Such people...

Moon Cycles Image Moon Cycles Image
Healing2 months ago

How Do Moon Cycles Affect Our Energy Levels?

Chronic fatigue, burnout, lack of strength, and energy… Does it sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone! We all get influenced...

Inner Child Healing Image Inner Child Healing Image
Healing2 months ago

Inner Child Healing: 4 Surprisingly Effective Practices

No matter how big or small we are, almost all of us have experienced some kind of trauma as children....

5 Tibetan Rites Image 5 Tibetan Rites Image
Moving2 months ago

Do the 5 Tibetan Rites Really Work? Here Is What You Need to Know!

For many centuries, the Tibetan monks kept the 5 Tibetan Rites a secret from the rest of the world. Only...

Advertisement

Awareness

Fear Archetype Image Fear Archetype Image
Personal Development3 days ago

What Is Your Fear Archetype And How Is It Holding You Back?

Fear impacts all of us, and very often holds us back from pursuing the things we really want. If you...

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra Meaning Image Mahamrityunjaya Mantra Meaning Image
Mantras4 days ago

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Powerful Death Conquering Mantra That Works Miracles

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra is also known as Death Conquering Mantra, or the Tryambakam Mantra is a verse of the Rigveda. This...

Solitude Quotes Image Solitude Quotes Image
Inspirational quotes6 days ago

The Power Of Aloneness: 50 Wise Solitude Quotes

For many people, aloneness is a negative state of being. Society perceives aloneness as if being by one’s self is...

Feng Shui Tips For Your Front Door Image Feng Shui Tips For Your Front Door Image
Abundant Living1 week ago

7 Easy Feng Shui Tips For Your Front Door

The Feng Shui for your front door is probably the most crucial aspect of your overall Feng Shui. Your front...

Sattva Guna Image Sattva Guna Image
Spirituality2 weeks ago

How To Raise Your Consciousness To Sattva Guna?

Sattva Guna, the quality of purity and peacefulness, is one of the three gunas in yogic philosophy. Tamas (darkness and...

Synchronicity Quotes Image Synchronicity Quotes Image
Inspirational quotes2 weeks ago

60 Synchronicity Quotes To Spark Your Awareness

The magic of Synchronicity occurs to people all the time. Based on research done on people who faced synchronicity in...

who are the archangels image who are the archangels image
Spirituality3 weeks ago

Who Are The Archangels? Their Divine Mission And How To Connect

Who are the Archangels? What is their divine mission? Are there hierarchies? How to connect and communicate with Archangels? This...

Important Astrological Events In September 2020 Image Important Astrological Events In September 2020 Image
Astrology3 weeks ago

Important Astrological Events In September 2020

This month, all seven planets that have a physical form and the lunar nodes Rahu and Ketu will change their...

Negative Internal Dialogue Image Negative Internal Dialogue Image
Personal Development3 weeks ago

8 Easy Ways to Stop Negative Internal Dialogue

Have you noticed that anytime you are in a decisive, learning, or any other thought process, there is a persistent...

Feng Shui Astrology For September 2020 Image Feng Shui Astrology For September 2020 Image
Astrology3 weeks ago

Feng Shui Astrology for September 2020: the Month of the Wood Rooster

Feng Shui astrology is based on the Chinese calendar. The dates of the beginning and the end of the months are...

Advertisement

Daily Inspiration