A mindful practice
Yoga first and foremost helps us to arrive in our body, so that our attention begins to move to a deeper level. Yoga leads us into our body, for some of us this can be a new experience, to connect with the inner body. It can leave one feeling uncertain and even confused. In class I may be asking you to connect i.e. stretch to back heel to the floor, squeeze the elbows. You might be thinking 'I can't work that out, what does she mean', don't despair it becomes easier with practice, as students who have been practicing for a longer time will attest to.
When we start to be aware of subtle places in the body, we begin to feel other areas. We are trying to 'wake' ourselves up and bring some aliveness to the body. When we begin to arrive in our body we are uniting all aspects of ourselves (this is the meaning of the word yoga, to unite, oneness), then we get to practice mindfulness.
There is vast intelligence in the body and this is why it is significant to feel
our body and bring our awareness there. We are connecting with an intelligence that is greater than our understanding. The body seems like a limited little thing but it is actually the door way to something bigger inside of us (a greater intelligence). When we come into our body through yoga we begin to have less thought, its very difficult to do both. The mind becomes more still, as we enter within, we experience more stillness.
A foundation of Iyengar Yoga (which I teach), is the precise nature of the pose, which is a tool for bringing the mind to the body and away from distracting exterior thought.
Written inspired by Ekhart Tolle teachings