Guest Author - Tracy Webb
Practicing Yoga is a great way to bring peace to the mind. The reason for that; is the breath. The quality of the breath is crucial to how we feel.
We breathe without giving it any conscious thought, although the quality of the breath is not fully realized. When the breath is shallow or not natural and in harmony, the mind becomes agitated.
Having an agitated mind is the cause of stress and our inability to cope. Our physiology changes causing disease in the body and an inability to focus properly. When we stop and take some deep conscious breaths, it is possible to feel the body relax and the mind becomes clearer.
The mind is amenable to suggestion and thoughts. Mostly we are unaware of what we are thinking, and mostly the mind is on auto pilot. Generally the beliefs, experiences and input from others affects the thoughts we think unconsciously.
The unconscious mind runs everything without us having to give it any thought. It keeps the blood circulating, the breath flowing, the digestive system functioning etc. It also runs the unconscious thoughts we are thinking which are mostly connected to the beliefs we are carrying, and the majority of times, they are limiting us in some way.
We inherit a lot of our beliefs through others. Family members and friends are generally the most influential. As children we learn from our parents, so it is not surprising that we learn their views of the world, which we take to be 'the' view.
The mind latches on to the thoughts, and stores them away. We use these thoughts as a guide on how to feel and act. This is all according to another persons experience, which we have accepted as being the way to do it.
The less aware of our mind we are, the more it controls us. When we notice our thoughts, and question them, we soon discover the beliefs we are carrying. It becomes obvious whether they are limiting beliefs or helpful beliefs.
Practicing Yoga is particularly helpful for bringing awareness to the mind and self. Using breathing exercises, performing postures using the breath, and meditation techniques will assist with bringing the mind under control.
To bring awareness to your mind and breath in difficult situations, try some of these suggestions:
* Stop and observe the breath until you feel a calmness
* Do counting the breath or observing the breath as it enters and leaves the body til you feel calm again
* The more you do the above the quicker it will become natural and you will stop yourself getting to the point of feeling out of balance.
* Take your attention away from the situation and think of a time when you were really happy. Put yourself there again for several seconds. This switches the focus and brings in good feelings.
Anything you can do to bring your awareness back to your breath will help you to strengthen your mind. The benefits of having awareness of your thoughts include:
* Increased immunity and better health
* Lower blood pressure
* A calm and focused mind
* Reduced stress and ability to cope