Mindfulness could possibly be the answer to resolving the matter of urban stress. In Wellington, there is more traffic on the stress, more competition for jobs, and higher prices for smaller housing spaces. For those without adequate housing or money, life stresses can get even tougher. This builds up in stress. When stress becomes serious, it can jeopardise our long-term health, and degrade life across the board.
Once, it was believed Wellington was a city made to eradicate stress. Certainly, the city is surrounded by pleasant natural relaxation spots, like the Botanic Garden, rich in beautiful plants and offering some great vistas of the city. Then there’s the Wellington Waterfront, a perfect place for watching people, and relaxing in style. There is also Otari-Wilton’s Bush, a short drive out of the city for amazing hiking and birdwatching.
However, there are a growing number of people who believe that external locations is just a small part of the de-stress formula. Instead, turning inward towards mindfulness (and associated practices) is a crucial component of a healthy lifestyle, especially in urban areas.
The way mindful yoga arose in Wellington
The shift towards inner awareness began in Wellington in the 1980s, when Wellington residents began coming back from India to teach the skills they’d learned in ashrams. Since spiritual arts evolves, these teachers began to blend the most effective aspects of mindfulness with yoga asanas, as a way to produce the most accessible form of stress relief for their students. This is how yoga teachers across New Zealand began teaching their students the best parts of various spiritual arts as a means to apply traditional Buddhist mindfulness.
These kinds of mixed classes teach students to bolster their awareness in the moment, which can be a great help when facing the challenges and stresses of Wellington life.
Exploring mindful yoga classes in Wellington
It’s very common in many yoga centers across New Zealand to locate classes that incorporate mindfulness and yoga. As Buddhist mindfulness awareness hit the mainstream in New Zealand, many began to understand how mindfulness techniques could supplement hatha yoga practices, even for beginners.
As one example, Te Aro Astanga Yoga is a well-known Wellington yoga studio. There, teachers use mindfulness to recognize energy blocks within their students. For instance, a teacher may notice a person keeping away from certain poses, or possibly blanking out, it may be a sign that there are energy blockages that need to be eliminated.
The cool thing about combining mindfulness with yoga is that it can transcend yoga styles. Once you learn the basics of mindfulness, you’ll be able to apply it in any type of yoga class. According to the Te Aro Astanga yoga instructors interviewed for this article, even beginners can learn how to combine mindful techniques within their yoga practices, in order to bring fantastic stress relief into their lives.