Walking and Yoga
We should all enjoy a good walk, incorporating the qualities of mindfulness and gentleness.
For me, practicing yoga has provided an excellent balance to running. Running can tend to tighten up the hips and the legs. Yoga loosens them. Yoga also provides a good transi- tion from being inactive to being very active, as in running. Moving fluidly and holding certain postures brings your awareness into your body, allowing for less discursiveness in the mind and more synchronicity—unity of mind and body. Depending on the kind of yoga you do and how you do it, moving fluidly and holding certain postures can bring a new level of awareness. By achieving a level of comfort with your body, you can develop more control and more intimacy with the breath. Controlling the breath al- lows you to access the mind. Having accessed the mind, you can access wisdom. Even very brief sessions of yoga are beneficial.
In a class, you may be intimidated by other practitioners who are incredibly flexible. However, that is their body, and this is your body. In the beginning, it is not so much about pushing yourself to be flexible as about bringing your mind into the body, which creates a sense of embodiment. Even if you are not engaged in yoga in a deep way, you can still benefit from it by incorporating the mind into the body. Just moving the body into different positions, paying attention and breath- ing, automatically connects you with natural healthiness and confidence.
Reprinted from Running with the Mind of Meditation By Sakyong Mipham. Copyright © 2012. Published by Harmony Books, a division of Random House, Inc.