Find a closer connection between your mind, body, and inner self with blindfolded yoga! Here’s why you should try it – and some tips for getting started…
Looking for a simple twist to your yoga practice that can help you go deeper and gain more from your practice? Try blindfolded yoga!
This unique practice tip has gained quite a following among experienced yogis who want to add another dimension to their practice, without any weird acrobatics, expensive props, or animals wandering around. 🙂
As you can imagine, practicing yoga while blindfolded will challenge your balance and build core strength, but it also has some other, more surprising benefits that many yogis have reported.
All you need is a scarf to try this, but please make sure you are in a safe space where you won’t hurt yourself by bumping into anything, and only practice this way if you are already familiar with the yoga poses you will be doing. If you are practicing blindfolded yoga at home, it helps if you are following along with a video with clear voice instruction – preferably one that you have done before so that you are familiar with the sequence and poses.
Here are 3 reasons to consider trying blindfolded yoga, according to Sarah D. at YogaBasics.com:
1.) Blindfolded yoga increases body-awareness
…With blindfolded yoga, there’s no checking that your arms or legs are in one straight line. You can’t look and see. You have to feel instead.
Vision plays an important role in helping us understand where our body is in space, but vision is not the only sensory system involved in body-awareness. Proprioception plays a huge roll as well. Receptors in our skin and muscles tell our brain where our body is and what it is doing. A healthy proprioceptive system is important for a high level of body-awareness, and, like most things, it gets stronger with practice. Practicing blindfolded yoga can help us strengthen our proprioception and grow more intimately connected with how our body feels and moves.
2.) Blindfolded yoga teaches focus
If you had asked me before my blindfolded yoga class, I would have said I am usually very focused and present in yoga. But blindfolded yoga showed me just how much more focus I am capable of…. Besides giving my ego a healthy knock, inching my way into tree pose while blindfolded forced me to truly focus in a way I never have before. It demanded my presence. I needed to steady my breath; to feel the connection between my standing foot and the earth; to still the muscles of my standing leg and tighten my core; and to move slowly with a connection to my own stability and stillness.
3.) Blindfolded yoga gives you the gift of pratyahara
The most powerful part of blindfolded yoga was the dampening of the senses, pratyahara. My lack of sight helped me connect with my body and find more focus in my practice. This awareness and focus brought a new depth to my practice. Ancient yogic philosophy teaches that pratyahara helps us to unify the mind, body, and spirit. During my blindfolded yoga practice, I saw a hint of that unification. Without the distractions that come from looking around the room, I was able to begin moving inward instead. I felt I could track the movement of the breath as it traveled through my body and when we settled into savasana, I dropped into a deeper stillness than I had ever known…
Blindfolded yoga helped me grow physically, mentally, and spiritually, and it is something I would recommend to any yogi looking for a little more depth in their yoga practice. It has yet to be offered at most studios and is mostly found at yoga retreats or festivals, but if you can’t find a blindfolded yoga class, you can still try it at home. Next time you get on the mat, try wrapping a blindfold around your eyes and see how this simple change makes a big difference in your practice.
Read More at YogaBasics.com…