Yoga has been around for over 5,000 years. Yoga was developed in India to help people understand themselves and achieve personal freedom. It also helps to end the suffering associated with living. It is designed to unite, or “Yoke,” mind-body and God as one. To achieve unity, the Yogi/Yogin trains the mind and body to be Yogi/Yogin.
The Yoga instructor at the Health Club might be surprised to learn of these lofty spiritual goals. Yoga is now a way to improve your posture, balance, flexibility, and overall health. We will not be discussing these aesthetic benefits. Instead, we will focus on two mental-spiritual Yoga practices linked to our work in psychotherapy. They are the development of mindfulness and acceptance.
Mindfulness refers to the ability to pay attention to the present moment and to notice where you are and what is happening around you. This allows you to live fully. You can forget the regrets and fears of the past by focusing on the present. Engage fully at the moment you are in. You can fully taste the sandwich you are eating and feel the touch of your partner…
If a person loses touch with their experiences and wants, they can fall into an inner void state. This is usually caused by the need to adopt other people’s desires and experiences to find their way in life. This “dependency” on others for direction results in anxiety, depression, and “chemical dependency,”–commonly known as drug addiction. Mindfulness can help you connect with your true desires and restore self-direction. It can also end anxiety and fear of being judged by others.
Acceptance means to accept what is happening right now, despite your fantasies or desires to be somewhere and do something else. People who cannot get the world around them will be cursed with regret and dissatisfaction. Psychology uses the term “hedonistic obsession” to describe a constant dissatisfaction that leads to constant anxiety and envy. Consider the typical buying process for the car we want. We are full of joy, satisfaction, pride, and accomplishment for the first few days and weeks. Once the novelty of the car’s new smell wears off, we look at vehicles in the higher-price range we want. The car can be substituted for any other item, such as your partner, house, clothes, or even your home. We live unsatisfied, only valuing the things we have after they are gone. Instead, we can accept these things and still enjoy them.
These two goals may seem connected, but you might have noticed. Mindfulness, e.g., mindfulness, is key to mastering acceptance. Mindfulness, e.g., being mindful of the present, allows us to see and accept our reality. This will enable us to value our worth and be open to receiving it. This allows us to enjoy them as they are and not regret them later.
Since antiquity, Mindfulness and Acceptance have been the key to human happiness. They have been the foundation of many spiritual, philosophical, psychological, and other practices from thousands of years ago to today. One of these ancient systems is yoga, which you can access today. It is a great practice that helps clients to experience a new way of living and change. It may be helpful to you on your journey.