Are you really here?
"What you think, you become.  What you feel, you attract.  What you imagine, you create." ~Buddha

Many of us are not really here with us....some of us are living past experiences or future anticipation and are drowning in their own heads. Ruminating in the past causes feelings of depression, guilt and self-loathing. Whereas, there's endless amounts of uncertainty of what's to come in our life and that can fuel our stress and anxiety. Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to experiences occurring in the present moment, instead of thoughts of worries from the past or future.    

In the 8-limbs of yoga mindfulness really takes up 2 of the 8 limbs so it must be pretty important.
Pratyahara - is the negative part of mindfulness where we try to withdraw from ordinary distractions from our primary senses (eg. what we see, smell, hear, taste and sensations).
Dharana - is the positive part of mindfulness where we try to focus on a particular object, affirmation, breathing, etc.

Many do yoga to ultimately get to limbs 7 (meditation) & 8 (bliss) but we couldn't possibly move to that from 3 (poses) & 4 (breathing).  That would be like skipping cooking our meal and eating it anyway.  

April is all about spring cleansing & getting our bodies healthy to be able to resist toxins naturally.  
As we approach Meditation May, we want to get our minds healthy to resist the negative sensory influences around it.  If you're easily disturbed by noise and the turmoil of the environment around you need to practice mindfulness....starting with pratyahara (above).  Without it you will not be able to meditate.  

Mindfulness can offer a host of benefits to anyone and EVERYONE who practices. If you're looking for....
  • greater mental wellness 
  • improved physical health like lowering blood pressure & reducing chronic pain
  • relieving stress & symptoms of anxiety, depression, ADHD and more.
The amount of toxins in our minds has reached dangerous levels.  With a consistent practice of yoga, we can be more in-tune with our bodies, minds & emotions.  When we're able to truly withdraw from our minds we can start focusing on the now.  1 in 4 Americans is living with anxiety, depression or some other mental health challenge and if left untreated will lead to toxic build-up and thus something bigger mentally, physically or both.  

The sad truth is that most people accept this poor quality of mental wellness as their norm.

What once started out as a class focused on the stretching & strengthening of poses and calories burned turned into a mindful practice "off the mat" that has helped me make better choices throughout the days, months & years to eliminate everyday toxins that cause many mental, physical and emotional problems.  The 5,000 year old ancient practice of Yoga helps us heal from the inside out.  It changed my life and I LOVE sharing it with others!!

If you've settled for mediocrity when it comes to your mental health than I invite you to mindfully take the next 21-days to take control of your mind through the daily practice of mindfulness.  To join my complimentary Mindfulness Challenge, go here.  In just 21 days you'll be focused more on the now....that's not where anxiety & depression hang out!

Cheers to mental relief,
Keri Elkin

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