Bringing mindfulness into your Yoga practice
When studying the attitude and practice of Yoga as a guiding principal in life, all routes lead to the yogic mantra, Soham. The sanskrit chant सो ऽहम् ‘Soham’ literally translates into I am He (the devine), or I am That, which is essentially one and the same thing.
It is a universal mantra, present within all of us as the sound of our breath (‘So’ as we breathe in, ‘ham’ as we breathe out), that detaches us from the dualities that complicate and distort the world and its universal reality. It is the answer to the question ‘Who am I’ (Koham), which is weighed down and burdened by these dualities. Good and bad, lightness and darkness, happiness and sadness, anger and calm, satisfaction and disappointment. None of these matter as, in the end, I Am That.
Yoga, in all its 8 limbs, aims to do away with these dualities that weigh us down in every day life, in order to bring you to that ultimate consciousness where you are neither one nor the other. You just are.
Practicing Yoga mindfully means becoming aware of these dualities, in our practice as well as in life, and detaching ourselves from them; observing them rather than being consumed by them.
We cannot change the dualities of good or bad, light or dark, etc. but we can change our relationship to them. Rather than moving through the physical Yoga postures and judging them as easy or hard, success or failure, give yourself the opportunity to experience them, becoming the detached observer that is taking everything in, without letting it take over. And while you are at it, allow yourself to experience the moments in between.
Only once we arrive at a place where external circumstances feel neither good nor bad, happy nor sad, painful nor pleasant, can we reach a state of equanimity that ultimately results in peace.