What is Mindful Yoga?


Mindful Yoga classes are back for Semester 2! Enrol at Oasis Online for notification on how to book. Further information will also be provided on this blog. In the article below, by Maureen (who teaches the class) explains what Mindful Yoga actually is.

Often, when people think of yoga, they think of the external “look” of yoga, the way the body might move into a variety of positions.  Mindful yoga is a bit different from some other yoga classes, in that the focus is more on the benefits to our nervous system than on physical fitness.   

Yoga is often thought of as something that we do – whereas the word yoga is traditionally thoughts of as a state of being – achieved though a variety of practices which support us to become at ease with ourselves, our thoughts, emotions and our bodies. 

The word yoga is often translated as to ‘unite’ or ‘yoke together’.  The word yoke is like connecting a wheel to an axle.  You want the connection tight enough that the wheel doesn’t come free, but lose enough that the ride is smooth.  This is yoga, being simultaneously in control of and also at ease with our own minds, hearts and lives.   

The state of yoga allows us to live at ease in our physical bodies and to be compassionate, and emotionally resilient.   

Yoga, (connection or yoking) comes from practicing slow intentional movements with mindful awareness of the body and the breath.  It may also include practices such as self-massage, visualisation techniques and progressive muscle relaxation. 

There are 3 main benefits of practising slow mindful yoga: 

  1. Slow practices build vagal tone in the body (our emotional brain in the gut), which helps us develop a healthy nervous system and increases our emotional resilience and supports us manage stress. 
  1. Slowing down increases both proprioception (our ability to know where we are in space) and interoception (our sense of the internal condition of our body), which increases our ability to choose how we act in response to internal and external stimuli. 
  1.  When we move slowly, we can be more mindful, which strengthens the parts of our brain responsible for concentration, considered action and empathy.

Mindful yoga is suitable for all bodies, including people with different physical abilities who may find exercise focused yoga inaccessible.  It is also trauma informed.   

Beginners as well as experienced yoga practitioners are welcome. Mindful yoga can be adapted for heat, cold, grief, anxiety, tiredness, physical injury, and illness – whatever is present in your body or minds.  What is important is that we show up with kindness to ourselves. 

I’m excited that Mindful Yoga classes will return in semester two (Starting July 28th).  Spaces will be limited due to social distancing, and you will need to provide your own mats.  Check out Oasis Online for more details about how to book. 

Hope to see you there 


Posted in
Flinders services and programs Mental Health Physical Health Well-being at Flinders Yoga

Leave a Reply