How to Live Mindfully Part 2: Mindfulness on a Deeper Level

If you missed Part 1, read it here!

As we continue to follow the yoga path, the practice will continue to permeate deeper into our mental and spiritual being. As we practice developing our minds and bringing our mental focus into greater clarity, we naturally begin the process of deepening our mindfulness.

At this deeper level, our thoughts turn inward as we become more self-aware. We study our own actions, and we question our intentions. Mindfulness will create room for us to grow and change, but the process may also be painful, as we begin to align our actions with our thoughts and beliefs.  If we are to fully develop as individuals, we learn to peel away the layers, one-by-one. With each layer, we will see ourselves more clearly. Peeling away the layers requires thoughtful intention and dedication to our own sense of self and a desire to align with the truth of who we are. We become mindful of our words, mindful of our intentions, and mindful of our own actions.

Become Mindful of your Words

Being mindful of our words means that we begin to listen to ourselves. We may find that we sometimes say things that are not completely true, or we may say hurtful words to our partners. We may boast at work or lash out at others. Our words directly reflect our inner thoughts, and with them, we can lift others up or cut them down. Using our yoga principles to become mindful of our words will help us to become the individual we wish to be—both inside and out. Being true and sincere to ourselves will help us to naturally begin using positive and uplifting words.

As well, being mindful with our intentions begins from the first moment that we step onto our mat. We learn to look into our hearts for guidance as we dedicate our practice to someone or something bigger than ourselves. Over time, our intentions guide our lives on a subtle level and affect our daily decisions. Becoming more mindful of our intentions requires that we fully look at ourselves and our true nature. 

Study Your Reflection

We begin to see our intentions more clearly by asking ourselves, “Why?”  (Why did I say or do that?) In the same way that we peer into a mirror and see a reflection of who we are, we diligently begin to search out our true intentions for this life. We study the reflection of ourselves—which becomes apparent and ever clearer through our intentions—and make the necessary changes.

As we begin to see ourselves through mindful consideration of our intentions, we are then able to take actions that help us to align our hearts and minds more fully with our intentions. Mindfulness of our daily actions will help us to become more complete and peaceful within ourselves. Learning to recognize actions that do not fall in line with our intentions will help to move us in a different path. Changing our learned and mindless actions (habits) may be very enlightening and challenging. As we travel the yoga path, we may learn that we have been taking actions that are in complete opposition to our intentions. Learning to change our actions will be challenging but will bring a more peaceful and satisfying existence to each of us.

If we are to live mindfully, we should apply to our everyday lives the practical principles we learn from our yoga practice. The peace and comfort we find on our mats can be directly attributed to the mindfulness required by yoga. As we learn to recognize the yoga principles, we allow them to work harmoniously in all areas of our lives. As we realize less diversity between “on” and “off” the mat, we also begin to realize more peace within ourselves. 

We learn much about ourselves as we practice with mindful consideration of all aspects of our lives. As the great philosopher Socrates said—“Know thyself”—we learn to know ourselves by and through the study of our words, intentions, and actions. If we allow yoga to guide us, we will mindfully align ourselves more fully on both a physical and spiritual level.

Susan GrossmanSusan Grossman is a yoga teacher based in Warsaw, Indiana. She is a contributing author for three ebooks, including: “Get Fit for Your Pregnancy:  Simple Exercises to Look Great & Feel Energized Through Your Pregnancy,” “Body Sculpting Exercise for Women Over 40,” and “Fat Blasting for a Shapely Butt and Toned Thighs.” She teaches weekly yoga classes at her studio where she works with individuals in the beginning stages of their yoga journey as well as with individuals who are over 70 years of age with mild to moderate health considerations. Susan also instructs kettlebell classes.  


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