What is Yogic Mindfulness?

By A. G. Mohan and Indra Mohan

Mindfulness has grown in popularity rapidly in the last decade. It finds a place everywhere from schools and corporates to hospitals and yoga studios.

The basic element of mindfulness is very simple: you purposefully bring your attention to an experience in the present and notice it without reactions or judgment. This is simple in theory, and easy to do as well. Just not so easy to do for a longer time!

Interestingly, such mindfulness is a key practice in classical yoga (for instance, see Yogasutra Chapter 1, Sutra 20). This is a fact that is underappreciated in modern yoga.

But we can go further to make this practice more holistic, effective, and easier. That is the point of yogic mindfulness. Not only do we want to bring awareness to the present, we should do so in a way that supports our well-being, longevity, and inner peace. In other words, our awareness should be the gateway to the positive transformations of yoga. That is yogic mindfulness.

Be mindful of your body, and lead your body to relaxation, stability, and lightness.

Be mindful of your breath, and lead your breath be easy, calm, and long.

Be mindful of your speech, and lead your speech to be lucid, thoughtful, and kind.

Be mindful of your emotions, and lead your emotions to be steady, soft, and compassionate.

Be mindful of your thoughts, and lead your thoughts to be restful, positive, and clear.

Be mindful of your values, and lead your values to be ethical, strong, and beneficial.

Be mindful of your self, and lead your self to well-being and peace.

This not just mindfulness. It is mindfulness that incorporates the holistic practices of yoga for well-being.