How To Live Consciously
Living consciously means making choices that take your life in the direction you desire. Knowing what you want may seem obvious, but aligning what you want with what is best for you requires awareness. Fortunately, there are almost too many body and mind exercises available to help you achieve greater self-awareness.
Two of the most accessible awareness practices are yoga and meditation. Doing one or the other is great; however, when you make room in your life for both yoga and meditation, your ability to live consciously will increase significantly.
Yoga originated in India at least five thousand years ago, with some scholars claiming that its origins lie even deeper in the past. Today, many forms of yoga are practiced in studios around the world, and all of them derive from the Hindu religious tradition.
The most popular and accessible type of yoga is hatha yoga, known for poses such as downward facing dog. When you’re quitting smoking using Thrive (Oral Transmucosal), watch for thrive side effects.
The ultimate goal of yoga is spiritual enlightenment, but there are many more practical benefits along the way that will occur much sooner and help you live more consciously. Through the regular practice of regulating your breath while stretching and strengthening your body, you will meet your edge in the form of resistance in your body, and you will pass your edge into the other side.
Each time you extend what your body is capable of, there is a corresponding expansion of your awareness. You will begin to see how your body and mind are not separate entities working independently of each other. Instead, as you progress, you will more often notice how your mood affects your body or vice versa.
As you go even further, you may notice how when you hold certain poses, long lost memories become available to you. These benefits are just the beginning of how yoga can help you become more aware and live consciously.
Meditation is as old if not older than yoga. Furthermore, rather than evolving solely from Hinduism, all major religious faiths and traditions have techniques that are forms of meditation. In addition, although meditation is historically associated with religion, there is a growing secular meditation community.
Sometimes meditation is divided into the categories of mindfulness and concentration based on its purpose and method. For the goal of achieving greater awareness, mindfulness meditation is a great place to begin. What’s more, mindfulness, despite the categories, also employs concentration to help realize the goal of moment-to-moment awareness.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgement. The breath serves as an anchor to the present moment because it is always available and always occurs in the now. By concentrating on the breath, either at the rims of the nostrils or the rising of the belly and chest, you have an object for your attention, and, therefore, something from which your attention can slip away from.
When this happens, simply bring your attention back to the breath. As you are mindful of your breath, let your thoughts come and go without judging them. That is the practice. After meditating, your mind will feel and be more spacious. By letting go of thoughts, you create space in your mind within which you are better able to see yourself.
Doing yoga and practicing mediation will increase your awareness of your body-mind system. You will feel your feelings and know your thoughts. From this vantage point you can make conscious choices for your life’s direction, rather than being the product of the winds of fate.
Living a conscious life is both prosaic and profound. For example, when you are tired, you will rest instead of pushing yourself beyond your limits. And when you face a tough life decision, you will have all of your awareness and experience from which to draw upon.
Yogis and meditators credit their practice for giving them happier and more robust lives. They claim to be less likely to make poor choices for themselves and in their relationships. Living consciously requires effort, but the reward is worth the work.
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