As we learned from Goldilocks, moderation is the approach of “neither too much nor too little”. Moderation can be followed in all aspects of life, such as diet, speech, exercise, possessions, and everything else. The opposite of moderation would be either overindulgence or completely denying ourselves to the extent of suppressing our needs which almost always backfires in the long run. Moderation keeps you away from extremes and therefore is a very sustainable strategy as it takes up very little energy.
You experience this in a yoga class when you hold postures for a more extended period. If you push yourself too much, you will come out of the pose before the time is up due to pain or extreme discomfort.
Equally, if you are lazy while practicing, you won't benefit from the time you are spending on the mat. Apply the right amount of effort, and you have a rewarding yoga practice that leaves you feeling recharged and refreshed. And the “right effort” can be different for everyone; that is why everyone's yoga practice will look different.
Mindfulness refers to present moment awareness. It is a very powerful and well-researched practice that can change the very structure of our brain. Mindfulness meditation makes us more rational, less impulsive, and even increases our grey matter. The good thing is mindfulness can be practiced anytime during the day and not just while you are meditating. You can be mindful when you are eating, when you are brushing your teeth, when driving, and so on. All you have to do is become completely aware of the activity you are doing by observing it in full detail.
If you try doing a single leg balance when very angry or emotional, you will likely have some trouble. In extreme circumstances, our inner emotional balance gets disturbed, reflecting in our physical state. In yoga, you learn to bring your balance back by taking some deep breaths or doing some gentle posture to re-centre the body and mind. And you can employ the breath anytime during the day when you feel overwhelmed. It could be if you are angry at your boss or had an argument with a colleague, or have received a defective product, or stuck in traffic! With yoga, you have trained yourself in resetting your nervous system by using your breath.