“Shutting Off” Your Mind During Yoga

Ever since I’ve started publicly loving on yoga, I’ve heard the same thing from so many people: I can’t do yoga because my mind just doesn’t stop! 

First off, I am the Busy Body Queen of the Type A folk, so if I can benefit from yoga, anyone can.

The biggest suggestion I have goes for any type of fitness tip: you have to want it. If you think yoga is a waste of time, you won’t benefit. Just like if you went to a Body Pump class and didn’t use enough weights to push yourself, you’d fail to see results.

I had gotten to the point where I needed yoga to work. I wanted yoga to work. I was desperate to find a way to slow down and calm my thoughts while still challenging myself at the same time.

I have come to find that yoga doesn’t require “shutting off” my mind. It simply requires me to focus my thoughts on the present. For me, while practicing yoga, that means focusing on my breath, the way my body feels, and what the instructor is saying.

aaaaaaa

It’s taken work, but I have simply had to learn to refocus my mind from worries and distractions to the present.

If you’re a “my mind doesn’t stop” type of person who wants to try yoga, just know that it takes time! Don’t make up your mind after one or two classes. Work at it, and I promise you’ll reap the amazing benefits!

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17 Responses to “Shutting Off” Your Mind During Yoga

  1. Allison says:

    I struggle with this too, big time. Good advice :)

  2. I used to have the same issue with yoga, and I still do at times, but I’m able to control my mind a lot better. Great advice on it though! And dang girl, look at those arms! ;)

  3. kepotts says:

    I 100% can relate to this! I have a huge issue shutting my brain off, after a few minutes of practice, yoga just seems to “work” for me. I have to make an effort to quiet my mind, but it works :) Great post & glad you’re benefitting from yoga!

  4. I agree Colleen! I just started including 30 minutes of meditation into my day and it is amazing where my mind will go if I don’t bring it back to the moment. Someday soon we will do some yoga together. I am hoping to get out to visit your parents in the Spring!! I love your writing and all that you are doing and I love you!!

  5. chasingchels says:

    Agreed lady love. I said all the same things/felt the same way until i really pushed myself to focus…now it’s much easier and i love it :)

  6. I have to do the same thing with ANY type of exercise! It’s essential that I shut my mind off and just focus on what’s going on.

  7. Ah, yes, I would be the person who struggles. Over the weekend, my sister suggested that I give yoga another try (anxiety was getting the best of me — we’re in the process of buying our first home), so I guess I should. If you can do it, I can too :) .

  8. Caroline says:

    I’ve gotten so much better at controlling my mind during yoga over the past year or so! I totally agree with your point about wanting it to work. Makes all the difference!

  9. I’ve always WANTED to get into yoga, but I feel like the few times I’ve tried it, I was a disaster. Now that I’m done training for my half, I’m excited to get back into different classes at my gym. Maybe I’ll muster up the courage to try another yoga class!

  10. I agree with you!!! It’s taken me a LONG time and a lot of FOCUS to not think of anything during yoga. The key is for the class to be challenging so I don’t have any thoughts left. :)

  11. Angela says:

    I seriously want to love yoga but I’m out of shape and not flexible! I bought some beginner yoga DVDs to start because I’m not comfortable goin to a studio yet!

  12. I totally agree, it’s not about thinking about nothing (is that even possible?) and turning your mind off, it’s more about thinking about what you’re doing in that present moment. Holding this pose, breathing this certain way. Then suddenly an hour goes by and you realize you haven’t thought about your to-do list at all. Great stuff.

  13. Sara says:

    Can I please have your arms?! I’m forcing myself to get back into yoga, I’m with you… I feel like my body needs it!

  14. I like the idea of re-framing things: instead of shutting things off, think of it more as focusing on the present :)

  15. I struggle with this so much – my mind runs at a mile a minute! Such good tips, I’m looking forward to trying again, and just being in the moment.

  16. I am wanting to start Yoga for exactly that reason trying to relax and shut down my mind. I definitely have type A tendencies as well.

  17. bringdrinks says:

    Loved this post, and so glad to hear that other people’s minds run away with them during yoga. I do Dave Farmar yoga podcasts at home on Fridays, and several times I’ve found myself turning them off before savasana because OMG MUST DO CHORES! Gotta work on that.

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