The Practice of Mindful Yoga: A Connected Path to Awareness is available from Amazon and bookshops, published by Leaping Hare Press.
Most people have heard of yoga even if they’ve never stepped onto a yoga mat. But Hannah sets out to explain what the true meaning of yoga is and how we can bring more awareness into our yoga practice. The Practice of Mindful Yoga explores the connection between yoga and mindfulness, offering practical exercises to help both beginners and experienced practitioners live a more mindful life both on and off the mat.
Hannah, a life-long yoga practitioner and a Thai yoga massage therapist, has studied various approaches to mindfulness and meditation, including a ten-day Vipassana meditation course in India and practised daily Ashtanga yoga for over six years.
“I would say that yoga and mindfulness are not exactly the same thing, but there is a lot of cross-over. For me, it was yoga that came first. I have been practising since I was 19, and that is 23 years ago now. I was at university in York and my mum was already practising some yoga and had a few books at home that I flicked through. I was aware that it existed but I didn’t really understand very much about it. So I guess my mum was a big influence on me at that time. I was intrigued and wanted to find out more about it. It was freshers’ week at university and there was a yoga society. It appealed and I went along.”
It was a life-changing moment: “It has given me so much. I would have to say that particularly over the past ten years, both yoga and mindful meditation have basically transformed my life. I have a much better sense of who I am as a person and my own patterns of behaviour and how to relate to others. I am a lot more compassionate to other people. I was basically OK before, but in hindsight there were a lot of ways in which I didn’t relate to people so kindly. Now through a much greater awareness of myself, it enables me to have a much greater understanding of other people, that we are all cut from the same cloth underlying our behaviours and how we relate to others, and all our basic needs. It is just that we try to meet those needs in ways that can differ drastically. If you are in a conflict with somebody about something, you can take a step back and try to understand how you might communicate better. It is about setting an example, really. I try to relate to people in a way that I would want them to relate to me. And then there is also the physical aspect of yoga. I am constantly being told that I look younger than I am, and a lot of that is down to yoga. I am stronger. I am more flexible.”
Also being published is Mindful Crafting: The Maker’s Creative Journey by Brighton-based Sarah Samuel. Sarah and Hannah are holding a joint launch from 2.30-4.30pm on Saturday, February 9 at the Cornerstone Community Centre, Hove. Booking on http://mindfulbooklaunch.brownpapertickets.com or http://mindfulbooklaunch.bpt.me.