How to keep your mind still in a class where you’re constantly moving
‘Inhale arms over your head’
*Count your breathing and synchronize your breath with each movement. If you are looking for more cardio, move each time you exhale/inhale. If you are looking for muscle focused holds, count up to five breaths in every single stage of your vinyasa.
‘Exhale fold your body completely’
Set an intention with each posture/movement. Specifically, one adjustment or cue the teacher gives. If they suggest push your hips forward, lift your chest up and relax your shoulders ...pick one and make that movement/shift of focus the subject of your mindfulness.
‘Inhale halfway lift’
Find the right modification for you. A posture, especially when held, should be a healthy balance of effort and ease. If you are operating at 100% from the get-got, your alignment and form will only deteriorate.
‘Exhale step or hop back, lowering down’
If you have to itch or grab water, no problem. Make it the best water break you’ve taken. Make it the best itch you’ve ever itched. That way when you’re back, you have completely satisfied the thought and can say “I’ve acknowledged you so I can move past you”
‘Inhale Upward Dog’
Practice 80-20 breathing when your abdomen or chest touch the mat. Release 80% of your breath in the exhale, and then inhale 20%, like little sips. This will ensure your stomach is moving less drastically with each inhale and exhale, keeping you from rising and falling drastically in a pose like Upward Dog or Cobra.
‘Exhale Downward Dog’
Imagine repurposing a posture, where you are balancing discomfort, into a savasana. Creating relaxation and ease, finding comfort and sinking into it like you would lying on your mat. This becomes a mindful exercise of finding the ‘eye of the storm’ in every posture that challenges you.
Inhale look to your hands, exhale stepping or hopping through. Inhale halfway lift. Exhale fold completely. Inhale, breathing slowly, come up and out.
Steven Kavaratzis @sdkavz