The practice of Yoga has profound effect on all aspects of our life. Yoga not only improves our physical health but also takes care of our mental well-being creating balance between the body and the mind.
The practice of mindfulness is very helpful to harmonize the body and the mind too. Fortunately, there are many yogic techniques available to practice mindfulness. Before getting to know how to practice mindfulness, we need to know what mindfulness is. In simple words, mindfulness is your presence in your experience. For example, if you are having your dinner then stay connected with your dinner only. Your full awareness and focus should be on your food, but nowadays, we watch TV while eating, we talk over the phone while having dinner or lunch. We are just physically eating but mentally we are connected with the input from the TV or the person on the call. We are not present in our eating experience.
Similarly, at the work place, we can improve our efficiency through the practice of mindfulness. Research shows that people spend almost 47% of their working hours thinking about something different from what they are doing (Harvard Business Review).
In other words, many of us operate on autopilot, without awareness of what we are experiencing. The good news is that you can train your brain to focus better by incorporating mindfulness exercises throughout your day.
Yoga is very helpful to control our monkey mind, particularly Pranayama helps a lot. Yoga helps to block the fluctuations of Citta (Consciousness comprising of mind, intelligence and ego). After continuous practice of Yoga, you will be more focused or connected with whatever you do.
Next time when you get to the office, take 10 minutes at your desk or in your car to boost your brain with mindfulness practice before you dive into activity. Close your eyes, relax and sit upright. Place your full focus on your breath, maintain ongoing flow of attention on the experience of breathing: inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. To help yourself stay focused, stay focused on your breath. Anytime you find your mind getting distracted, simply avoid distraction by returning your focus to your breath.
Most importantly allow yourself to enjoy these minutes. Throughout the rest of the day, other people will fight for your attention. But for these 10 minutes your attention is all your own.
Start with this simple breathing technique and slowly-slowly introduce Asana and other Pranayama techniques into your practice. After a few days of continuous practice, you yourself will find the beauty of Yoga within you.