Whenever starting a new endeavor, there is sure to be a lot of questions.
Don’t worry, we got you covered!
In this article you will find common FAQs that reflect how Mindful Yoga Project approaches mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.
Keep reading to stay in the know.
1. Do I have to sit on the floor with my legs crossed like a pretzel when I meditate?
Nope :) In fact, I encourage you to do what feels most comfortable for you.
You could sit in a comfy chair or on the couch. You can even lie down in your bed.
I know that what I am saying is taboo to some practitioners
It is my deep belief that progress is more important than perfection when creating a mindful yoga habit.
Everyone has different needs so the practice will look different for each person.
The idea is to be comfortable and not in pain during your practice.
2. What type of yoga does Mindful Yoga Project practice?
Our roots lie in hatha yoga.
Hatha yoga is a branch of yoga that focuses on slow and intentional movements that increase mobility and strength.
At the same time hatha yoga focuses on our ability to relax in the present moment with kind awareness.
If you want a quick power yoga sweat session or a class with advanced poses such as headstands, our practice is probably not what you are looking for.
Something to keep in mind, just because our practice is slow and intentional does not imply that it is easy.
I encourage you to try out our classes even if it's not your usual pick.
You may notice that it challenges you in different ways.
Hatha yoga gives us the space to practice the skill of relaxing when we are challenged by stressful situations.
Essentially we are deepening the pathways in our brain that allow us to relax during times of stress and tension every time we practice yoga.
The real magic is when we take the skills we learn on the mat to our real lives.
3. I have wrist/knee/back pain and I am very out of shape. Can I practice yoga?
Obviously when starting a new workout routine, you want to clear it with your physician.
It's also important to listen to your body and be realistic about where you are starting from.
Mindful Yoga Project approaches yoga in an accessible way.
When stretching and moving the spine, you are able to target the same muscles in any of the positions below:
Each person is unique and different and therefore is going to vibe with different approaches.
Mindful Yoga Project is grounded in the slow and steady instead of winning the race.
When you push your body past its limits, injuries occur and stress results.
This is not the goal of Mindful Yoga.
4. Should I be breathing a certain way?
Breath normally without controlling your breath in any way unless. instructed to do so.
The breath is just an anchor for our awareness when doing mindfulness meditation.
Our job is just to notice it without changing it in any way.
5. What should I wear?
Sometimes I am in my PJs and other times I am still in my work clothes when I practice mindfulness, meditation, and yoga.
At home when I am doing a longer yoga practice, my go-to yoga outfit is leggings and a stretchy t-shirt that conforms to my body and keeps me covered while doing different poses.
I encourage you to try different things out and find what feels good for you.
6. When should I meditate?
Finding a time that works for you is the most important thing.
If you are not a morning person, meditating in the morning probably won't be your jam.
The key is finding a chunk of time in your routine that you can dedicate to the practice so that the habit forms.
That could be on your lunch break or after you get home from work.
Check out our blog post on how to create habits that stick
7. Where should I meditate?
Finding a place that is quiet with minimal distractions will be helpful, especially when you are first getting started.
With that being said, I’ve meditated on a crowded subway in New York City on my way to work
It’s up to you whether you want to meditate sitting or lying down. If you tend to get sleepy when lying down, it's probably best to meditate while sitting on the ground or in a chair.
8. What's the difference between mindfulness and meditation?
Meditation is practiced formally.
This means we are carving out a specific time and place to practice.
Meditation cannot be practiced anywhere or anytime. For example, you would not meditate while driving a car.
Mindfulness can be practiced both formally and informally.
During formal mindfulness practice, you carve out a specific place and time to practice being mindful to the breath.
Mindfulness can also be practiced informally.
This means it can be practiced any time or place by becoming aware to your body, thoughts and five senses.
For example, you could practice mindfulness informally while riding your bike through the park. It could look like this:
Notice your breath, can you smell the fresh cut grass?
Can you hear the dogs barking in the park or the musician playing on the park bench?
Can you see the beautiful planted flowers and squirrels chasing each other?
Can you feel the breeze on your skin?
Notice your thoughts. Are you in the present moment?
Great! You are practicing mindfulness informally!
9. Should I practice with my eyes open or closed?
It would be best to close your eyes for meditation and formal mindfulness practices in order to cut down on visual distractions.
The reason we close our eyes during our practice is to cut down on visual stimulation and distractions that could deter us from our practice.
If that doesn’t feel right for you, try directing your glance downward to minimize distractions.
Informal mindfulness practices can be practiced with your eyes open or closed.
For example, you may mindfully look at a painting with your eyes open.
You could also mindfully eat a raspberry with your eyes closed.
10. Is yoga, mindfulness, and meditation tied to a religion?
Mindfulness, meditation, and yoga are secular scientific practices that are not tied to any one religion.
You do not need to believe in a certain dogma to practice these techniques.
Ready to start a mindfulness practice?
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Hi, I'm Alyssa
Mindfulness, yoga, and herbal medicine have been fundamental to my own journey in life. I hope to share my experiences and perspectives in order to inspire and connect with others.