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Yin-Yin (4/6): The Mind and the Present Moment

One of the most important lessons that I’ve learned from YTT is that your mental strength is just as important as your physical strengthen when it comes to improving the quality of your practice.

Mental strength is about the ability for your mind to stay present and to silence the external noise. According to a Harvard study, almost half of our waking hours is spent thinking about something other than what we’re doing.  “Unlike other animals, humans spend a lot of time thinking about what isn’t going on around them: contemplating events that happened in the past, might happen in the future, or may never happen at all. Indeed, mind-wandering appears to be the human brain’s default mode of operation.”

What’s concerning is that the study suggests a correlation between a wandering mind and an unhappy mind.  How often our minds leave the present and where they tend to go is a better predictor of our happiness than the activities in which we are engaged.”

Yoga teaches the mind to be present and to resist wandering.  In particular, focusing on the breath allows me to stay present and aware of my body.  This is was a surprising benefit for me joining YTT.  I had originally intended to get more in shape physically.  However, I was surprised at how much training the mind to be present impacted my overall satisfaction. I am excited to learn more about the breathing exercises and share these learnings with others.