Mindful Hatha Yoga

Mindful Hatha Yoga

Yoga means to “yoke” in Sanskrit, a word that implies a bringing together—a unifying of the body and mind. Yoga and meditation complement each other and, when done regularly, are an excellent mind–body discipline that can have a dramatic effect when practiced regularly.

Regular yoga practice increases flexibility, strengthens muscles and joints, improves balance and circulation, and promote states of deep relaxation and awareness. As a result, many people experience a greater sense of physical and mental well-being.

Mindful hatha yoga is practiced like meditation, namely, by maintaining non-judgemental moment-to-moment awareness and not striving to get somewhere, simply allowing yourself to be just as you are. It involves exploring your limits and not pushing beyond them, exploring and playing at your edges while honouring the wisdom of your body, listening closely to the messages it sends you.

The mind affects the body, the body affects the mind. Yoga allows us to tune into the mind-body connection, as well as the importance of movement of the body and stillness of the mind. - Jennifer Innes

Mindful yoga, as taught in MBSR and offered through Ottawa Mediation & Wellness, is practiced slowly and emphasizes the mindfulness component of the practice; in other words, it is not about becoming physically fit, in the way that many aerobic exercises—and even some yoga classes—focus on what the body is doing. These approaches tend to emphasize progress and to push. Instead, mindful yoga emphasizes non-striving and non-judgment while moving slowly and with awareness.

Bringing mindful awareness to yoga transforms it into a kind of meditation and creates the likelihood that it will bring an expansion of perspective and a better understanding of who you are.

Adapted from Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD.

Mindful yoga in the workplace

Mindful hatha yoga can be practiced by virtually anyone at any level of fitness.

Wellness programs for employees that incorporate yoga can offer participants the benefits that come with yoga practice, including reducing both stress and the physical strain that comes from sitting at a desk for long periods. Yoga in the workplace may also be a cost-effective way to bring other organizational benefits, such as increased productivity. Please contact Jennifer at for more information.

Mindful yoga on silent retreat

For dharma teachers or retreat centres that would like to include a mindful yoga component to their daily retreat schedule, please contact Jennifer at for more information.

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