Mindfulness is a major buzzword in today’s fast-paced, I want it now world we live in. Slowing down for some seems so far fetched…and perhaps even unachievable. Mindfulness in its simplest form breaks down like this: paying attention, on purpose, in this moment, and without judgment.
The mindfulness aspect of Mindful Yoga Therapy consists of two primary components:
1. Paying attention to the present moment
2. Maintaining an attitude of acceptance and non-judgment
Today, I want to talk about how we can pay attention to the present moment in Part 1 of Mindfulness.
Present Moment Awareness
The cultivation of mindfulness can be very challenging, but it is an important piece of any yoga therapy practice for veterans with PTS. Often they live outside of the present moment, avoiding painful reminders of trauma or actively re-experiencing traumatic events. At other times, people who suffer from PTS are in the present moment, but are there with a great deal of fear and anxiety because they experience elements of their current situation as threatening and unsafe. Avoidance and hyper-vigilance are primary symptoms of PTS.
The meaning a person gives to internal physical sensations has enormous implications for physical and psychological health. Often, individuals with PTS interpret internal sensations as abnormal or frightening. As a yoga therapist, you can help your students minimize symptoms by normalizing the sensations experienced, reframing their meaning, and reducing the tendency to catastrophize. In Mindful Yoga Therapy, we are invited to intentionally focus on the sensations in their yoga practice, both to find comfort and to learn to be present and non-reactive to sensations of discomfort. The comfortable sensations then become a source of support, and the uncomfortable sensations become dissociated from fear and anxiety.
Peace & Love,