My mindfulness teaching came to me in my dream, and it scared me a lot. I did not like what I saw: plenty of young professional men “white collar”– highly intelligent, success driven with high ambitions but low EI (emotional intelligence) were sitting in a university auditorium waiting for my presentation. This lucid dream came to me the night before my Master’s degree graduation in 2012, and I felt a fear radiating to my bones. So, as many of us, I put this message to the back burner of my consciousness ( as I know what this kind of job entailed), ignored the guidance to grow my profession as a teacher. However, once the dream has a hold on you there is no way to escape; it keeps recurring and reflecting itself in the faces of my yoga students. Therefore, one year ago, I bit the bullet and said “Yes!” to this new challenging journey of becoming a Mindfulness Teacher.
MINDFULNESS TEACHING IN OUR TIME OF NOW
Meditation / Mindfulness is a part of a Yoga Tree based on Patanjali philosophy. However, only a few yoga practitioners know this full story of yoga: the yoga tree has eight limbs, and it unites all essential parts derived from a seed of yoga. Meditation / Mindfulness – the western name for is the seven-limb sitting together with the eighth limb – presenting Absolute/ Universe/ Divine, creating beautiful tree crown.
ASANA: THE MOST KNOWN LIMB OF YOGA TREE in the West
ASANA or posture is the most knowing limb of yoga here in the west. 99% of my yoga students were under the impression that asana of “doing physical practice” it is all that yoga can offer. Do not get me wrong, it is an essential part of yoga, but there is more to the yoga story to share with them. In my yoga classes, I started presenting a full spectrum of yoga limbs to balance their awareness of the yoga tree.
“Through the practice of asanas, we develop the habit of discipline and the ability to concentrate, both of which are necessary for meditation.”
MEDITATION/ MINDFULNESS – the most mysterious limb of the yoga tree
My mission of sharing overlooked yoga tree limbs created a platform for my teaching and “niche” of my yoga teaching was born to me: a Mindfulness Yoga + Therapeutic Yin. In my very first 8 week series that began in September 2018 I shared news never heard in our yoga community center such as:
MINDFULNESS or MEDITATION is an ancient, scientific, non-religious practice that trains your mind to become confident, peaceful, stress-free and powerful. Using a simple body flow technique, sound and focused breath you can build the brain and mind you want. Commit to daily repetition, learning by doing and reflecting on your journey – these are the key elements to grow this limb.
Winter 8 weeks series brought completed teaching about 8 limbs of the Yoga Tree. Last Friday, we had our celebration/ presentation session when each of the students presented one of the yoga limbs, and I was quiet listening and enjoying light reflected in their eyes. So many in-depth personal stories of awareness were shared among us; so let me share one that really caught my full attention.
MINDFULNESS SWIMMING brought me close to God
BREATHING/ pranayama is not meditation yet, but it is one of my favorite tools to calm your mind. Kathy, one of my Winter Series students, shared her story of how she turned swimming into mindfulness exercises while taking Mindfulness Yoga with me.
“Mindfulness is being aware of what you are doing.” J. Kabat
In her swimming story, she shared her progress of “withdrawing senses” by focusing on a sound of exhaling fully underwater and simply drawing air in when your mouth exits the water. Getting into the rhythm of your stroke, you create a pattern of repetition, creating a cycle between inhaling and exhale with some gaps/ pause in the between. This environment helped her to practice attention by gently drawing her mind back to her life experience. She shared “I stopped counting my loops, but once I stopped swinging naturally, I looked at a wall clock, and it was exactly time I must go.” I smiled at her shared time synchronicity mini-lecture “once you are in your flow, all aligned.”
“It’s a kind of an enforced underwater Pratyahara or “sense withdrawal”—the fifth element of yoga as described by the sage Patañjali in his Yoga Sutras. Shutting out external stimuli, such as the glare of the swimming pool lights or the drone of popmusic, lets the mind settle.”
JOYFUL MINDFULNESS TEACHER sits in me, now.
This is a way how I grew with the assistance of my students into a Joyful Mindfulness Teacher; not teaching in any renovated university yet – smile – but in a community yoga centrum; I love my stage where I can share the wisdom of Yoga and Healing Arts to all who are ready to upgrade their yoga practice.
Perhaps, this is your time to start practicing your Mindfulness Living. When life pressure seems overwhelming, and it is a good time to steal your attention away from chaos. Come to join us for the spring series of Mindfulness Yoga: Chants & Mudras that will present a new way of synchronizing your yoga and life pathways that lead to your Happiness.
Who else if not you will become a co- creator of your life?
See you in a circle of Meditees!
PS: Teacher’s note from MindY feedback forms:
What element of your MindY practice did you enjoy the most?
- Sounds therapy/ chanting
- Being a part of a heart to heart community
- Medititon Savasana
Any note for Veronika r/t her teaching style?
- “Everything you do in a class is from the heart, that’s what makes it so special.”
- “Veronika is our joyful mindfulness teacher!”
- “Veronika taught me what lies beyond the asanas. There is so much to learn!”
It was written with the energy of Mindfulness Yoga classes by Veronika’s hand.
2 thoughts on “YOGA: How I became a Mindfulness Teacher.”
Veronika has a unique teaching practice that combines humour, healing arts and breathing techniques. I always leave the class feeling relaxed and rejuvenated!
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Thank you, Hoodie girl, for expressing love for yoga and yoga seekers community as we became over the time. You are always welcome to come “home” to meditate with us. Spring will come with chant and gentle moves in its mindfulness flow.