How your yoga practice is building a connection between your body and mind

It’s not always easy to remember that our body and mind are in a state of constant communication. We spend most of our lives tending to the physical without responding to the emotional needs of the mind. Yoga unites both needs, it doesn’t control where the body ends and the mind begins, instead it considers both as one, a combined self.

Universally Yoga means ‘to join’; the joining of our body, mind and spirit with the world around us- a humble translation being everything is one.

The heart of your yoga practice is to work on building a harmonious connection with your mind and body. The poses you come in to on the mat together calm and stimulate the brain and can activate and stimulate vital organs by supplying fresh blood and oxygen to the brain, making it alert but relaxed; because we are all different each pose will cater to our individual needs and the way our body responds will depend on our frame of mind at that moment in time.

If you are feeling unhealthy, your body will tend to be slow, and the mind sluggish, through your yoga you will be able to remove this sluggishness from your body and bring it to the level of the active mind, this is essentially strengthening the connection between the body and mind.

Over time and with patience you will notice the yogic power at work; as it begins to stimulate and transform your emotional feelings, replace anxiety with courage, poor judgment into self-reliant decision-making skills, and emotional instability into confidence and happiness. All these wonderful benefits will slowly start to spill into each part of your life not just when you practice on the mat.

Self- loving practice

Building a self-loving practice might sound silly but by combining stretching exercises, controlled breathing and relaxation your yoga will bring you closer to understanding who you are and the power of your mind and body.

3 key elements to creating a connection…

1. While almost all poses will increase strength and flexibility, your daily routine should be a mix of relaxing poses like Savasana, which involves lying on the floor while completely relaxed, to the more difficult stamina building postures where you are stretching your physical and mental limits.

2. Breathing is just as important; you will notice how often your teacher speaks to the breath. Controlled breathing can help you guide the movement of the body and quiet your mind.

3. Positive inner-energy, when you find yourself on the mat, it’s important to connect with how you’re feeling in that moment. Start consciously practicing non-judgement and begin to connect with your imperfections and understand that some days your practice will be easier than others.

TWO yoga poses for connecting mind and body:

Sukhasana — Easy cross leg pose — For stress relief

Getting into the pose:

Come to a comfortable seated position.

Cross your right shin in front of your left shin.

Move the knees closer together until your feet are directly underneath them.

Slide the flesh of the buttocks outward so you can sit directly on your sitting bones.

Press your palms together at the centre of your chest.

Sit tall and soften the shoulders.

Close the eyes to bring your focus to your centre.

Benefits:

Sukhasana is a comfortable, sitting yoga pose that is ideal for meditation. The name literally translates to mean ease, happiness, and peace. There are so many wonderful physical, emotional and mental benefits associated with this pose, some of which include

Increasing your state of tranquillity

Calming your brain

Eliminating stress, anxiety and mental exhaustion

Broadens your collarbones and chest and opens your hips

Balasana — Childs pose — For relaxation

Getting into the pose:

Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees wider than your hips.

Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs.

Extend your arms out and place palms facing down

Balasana is a comfortable resting pose, so try to stay in it anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. This pose is a wonderful introduction to forward folds for beginners where the torso rests on the thighs

Benefits:

Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles

Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue

Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported

About the Writer:

Bree Pagliuso is a qualified Yoga teacher & the Co-Founder of www.twosixwellness.com.au an online lifestyle and wellness hub specialising in Workplace Wellbeing.

Bree’s passion for yoga was sparked over four years ago when she quickly fell in love with the physical benefits. Feeling strong, centred and deeply connected with her body, she began to understand the healing power and strength yoga brought to her life mentally and spiritually.

In 2014, after hitting a momentous crossroad and deciding to leave the corporate world she followed her heart, and as they say the heart wants what the heart wants, and all it wanted was to learn and teach yoga!

Completing her 200RYT studies through The Yoga Social in Victoria, and currently finishing her Prenatal and Postnatal YTT through Bliss Baby Yoga — Bree teaches across Victoria in various studios, spending most of her time teaching corporate students through her successful business TWOSIX Wellness.

“I love to teach a strong power class, and my hope is to create a fun, energetic and soothing environment for my students to feel comfortable to grow their practise. The fusion of a great workout combined with the heart and soul of yoga is the perfect formula. I strongly believe that the most amazing class is the one you walk into thinking — I really don’t want to be here today, and then you emerge from the class standing tall and thinking to yourself — what would I be without my yoga practice!”

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