Ever left a yoga class and still felt stressed? Yeah… me, too. In my humble opinion, it’s hard to use yoga for stress relief without incorporating mindfulness teachings. After all, that is actually how yoga started centuries ago – as a spiritual, meditative practice (read more about the history of yoga here).
1.The instructor is moving too fast!
Mindfulness teachings encourage people to trust their inner wisdom and listen to their body. This is important for everyone. It is especially important for people with special conditions (pregnancy, chronic illnesses, disabilities, and so on).
You will get so much more out of your yoga class if you do follow your own intuition, even when it goes against what others are doing.
2.There are too many distractions to relieve stress.
Someone’s loud breathing. A water bottle getting knocked over. A cell beeping. Cars honking.
Ever felt like there were so many distractions going on during your class that you couldn’t focus? This is a very common experience.
Here’s my mindful advice: Whenever you notice yourself getting distracted, gently bring your attention back to your breathing, or the physical sensations in your body (for example, tingling or warmth in your muscles, hunger, thirst, and so on).
Most of us live in a busy, loud environments, alive with machines and people. Accept that distractions are part of life – they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Think of yoga as an opportunity to practice observing your reactions to stimuli in your environment. If any judgments come up about yourself or others, make note of those, too. Try not to judge yourself for judging.
3.I can’t stop thinking about other things.
Be compassionate with yourself when your mind wanders. After all, it’s what our minds are used to doing.
What difficulties have you come across in yoga class? Any tips on how to overcome them? Comment below or contact me.
Rebecca Ogle is a licensed therapist who practices telehealth counseling in Illinois. Rebecca empowers therapy clients to cope with anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and relationship problems using their natural strengths and inner wisdom.
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