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Syndicated Columns

Yoga Puts the Mind At Ease

Posted May 20, 2006

Q. I heard that Yoga can help me reduce stress.  How does it do that?  How many classes will I have to take before I notice a difference? -- S.M. Lake Worth

A. We're addicted to speed, success, consumption and the adrenaline rush of stress. At the heart of our speed and stress, is the incessantly chattering "monkey mind," which is obsessed with past and future, loss and gain, pain and pleasure.

The mind is terrified of the present moment, which is where peace and relaxation inevitably occurs. The mind can even invent the spiritual search and other self-improvement schemes as an attempt to perpetuate its dominance.

The only way to kick this addiction to the mind and its creations, advises Eckhart Tolle, is, “To awaken to our identity with something much vaster; being itself, our essential nature.”

"You can learn to be and do at the same time," notes Rodney Yee, coauthor of Yoga: The Poetry of the Body. "If you're flowing down a river, you're just being, yet you're moving downstream. The present moment is like that. If you concentrate your attention in the moment, you're totally present, yet it's not stagnant or fixed.”

Yoga allows you to do and be simultaneously.  The word "yoga" derives from Sanskrit and may be understood as, “union with the Divine by integration of body, mind, and spirit.” If you practice yoga, even one time, you will most likely experience an invigorating and inspiring session in which your mind was totally focused on your body and your breath. By the time you're done, you will have had an opportunity to feel a deep sense of peace and relaxation that seems to pervade every cell. Sustaining that connection is another matter. Remember to be mindful.

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