Yoga and your outside world
This is the last week of this course. We will start with looking to the benefits yoga can give to you and your world. After that i will give my reflections on this course and what i have experienced and what i will take with me.
Why is yoga important for you and the world
When you start with yoga, and with that i mean the yoga exercises and the breathing exercises (pranayama), you can experience direct the positive effects for yourself. But there is more………..
But first the positive effects for your well- being. Practicing Yoga with a mindfulness mindset (with curiosity, non judgmental and with compassion) you cultivate your ability to observe and experience your mind, with all the thoughts, emotions and also your preferences, your dislikes and your mind patterns. This is what Dan Siegel calls mindsight.
In his wheel of awareness exercise he has developed a practice to cultivate your self-knowledge.
By developing a fresh sight on your own mind you can also learn to make better and more healthy choices for action in stead of acting from your auto pilot. We can have a better insight in our own patterns and update these for better, more healthy patterns which are better for your own well- being and for the well being of the rest of the world.
For a practical model see my blog of week 4 about stress and rebalancing the autonomic nervous system. Week 4
This well- being can be explained by the notion of integration. This is what Dan Siegel introduced as the river of integration. Here the integration is explained as integrating the different functional parts of a system and keeping the functions of the parts and by integrating (or connecting) them you can have SYNERGY. Meaning that the whole is more or better then the parts. The different parts are then the different parts of the brain, the body and your relationships. More information click here
This integration is the outcome of mindful practices as Yoga but in my opinion the key is the mindful mindset. So it is also valid for Mindful Walking, Mindful Running, Mindful Eating etc. And with all this the breathing is an important key or mind body connector. So with this you can develop to experience more and a more real self-esteem leading to well- being.
And by integrating also your outer world, your relations, you can start creating a better world.
The power of meaningful connections
We are social beings. And when we personally have a well integrated brain/ body we can experience as well the feelings and emotions of the other. This is the basis of empathy and compassion.
Better and more healthy relationships are leading to a more positive feedback giving you:
- A better self image
- More positive circumstances
In this digital age, despite that almost we are constantly connected, the feeling of loneliness is becoming more and more a problem. We can have many connections but can even feel lonelier then ever. Where in 1970 11-17% of the population felt lonely. Now it is more then 40%! So when you feel alone your are not alone.
What is important are meaningful relations, what these are and how you can develop them is described in this article: 6_power of meaningful relationships
So with mindful practices you improve your self esteem and skill to observe and experience whatever comes into your mind. This has advantages for your well- being and the well- being of the world.
“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest—a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Yoga and mindfulness in your daily life
So to cultivate these positive outcomes it is important to integrate regular mindful practices into our daily life. For myself i have discovered the richness of Yoga and Mindfulness. And it is surprising that these practices already exist such a long time. They are so simple and powerful. The biggest challenge is to make them a real part of your life style. For that you need some motivation and this can be different for each person. A good motivator is a health problem and doing these kind of practices are proven beneficial and maybe even better then medication. Another motivator could be that you are looking for more meaning in your life and that you would like to take more control over your own life. Offering these practices to other people could also be as an integrated low-treshhold practice as walking or running which are much better accepted in the West. However the scientific acceptance of Yoga and Mindfulness helps a lot in giving it a broader acceptance.
But what helps anyway to keep doing it:
- Look for a yoga style which suits you, which feels good and try different styles and keep doing this because your need can change. There is a lot of high quality Yoga offering on the internet. With this one i have good experience and here you can follow a program to discover different yoga styles: click here
- Try to do your practices on a fixed time of the day.
- Accept that each day is different, one day all goes smoothly and other days it will be harder.
- Simply start every moment you have planned.
- Take the open mindful mindset (curiosity, non judgmental and with compassion) with you in daily life.
- Write regular in a journal about your experiences during Yoga and also in daily life.
My reflections on this course
My goal for this 6 weeks course was:
“I want to follow all the 6 lessons in the pace of the course syllabus with an open, curious and non judgmental mindset and to (re) discover interesting practices and results coming form scientific research to integrate it in my own practice and in my profession.”
This goal is achieved and i have experienced this course as very useful and helpful first of all for myself. I have found extra motivation on my path to continue with my practices and improved theme here and there.
For my profession as a stress counsellor i was especially interested in the scientific content and for that reason i created this website and linked it to my own site. For me as a reference book as well for my clients when they are interested in mindful practices.
This year i have made my offering more complete, meaning that i have integrated all the different parts for a healthy life style in a system approach.
- Reset of Mind and Body, integrating:
- Mindful exercises (preferably outdoor in Nature)
- Mindful eating, pure and fresh
- Relaxation and self- care
More information can be found here (in Dutch): click here
This is an approach from Dan Siegel:
And this from Duke University