As a Yoga teacher and Sannayasin when Mindfulness became the current buzz word I felt a little put out “sure isn’t that the same as awareness, isn’t it the same reason why we practice meditation” I felt that mindfulness was missing something. In the context of Yoga, mindfulness and awareness are the same thing, it is developing Dhrasta Bhava (attitude of a witness) modern day Science has identified this as the Central Executive a part of the brain where we make decisions based on intuition located in the front of the brain.
Some of the mindful techniques seemed naive to me, there was no emphasis on posture, they hadn’t a grasp of breath and neither did they talk of prana and their understanding of meditation was limited. In comparison to Yoga it offered little. However I do think that it has its place and if it gets people interested in meditation and introduces the idea that there is indeed a greater presence within us and between us well then carry on.
I read Thich Nhat Hanh books when I lived in California ” Peace is Every Step” and I loved it , I read some more of his books and I used the guides given and I had stickers all over my apartment reminding me to be mindful of using water, mindful when I ate and even mindful of turning the lights on, it was great but I found what was even more profound was when I had practiced my Yoga posture and had sat for 20 minutes controlling my breath and went on to Antar Mouna (Inner Silence ) meditation and I found that my awareness became well developed and i didn’t need stickers to remind me, the more I practiced the better I felt and the more mindful I became.
What I am really trying to get at is that the general public have a right to know what meditation is and how to develop a regular practice and most importantly how to do it safely and properly with clear guidelines and instruction, maybe it is just me but Yoga is a complete system of healthy living, there is so much to Yoga that most people will never get to know about and at the DSY we aim to bring some of Yoga’s less known practices into modern day life. Call it mindfulness call it Awareness call it what you want just sit with yourself for a few minutes and see what happens…do you need guidance? would you like to know how to learn how to sit still? get to a Yoga class.
I hope you dont think by reading this that I am against mindfulness I AM NOT I believe that it is limited I believe that Yoga has more value in a holistic sense.