Tuesday, September 23, 2008

What to think about during yoga?


Personally, my attention shifts between several main purposes, depending on my circumstances.
Because I’m an instructor, sometimes I need to ‘practice’ the form and pay attention to technical detail. I like to listen to other yoga student’s experiences and see how I can incorporate their feelings into my own practice. I do this because it adds to a greater understanding of my student’s experiences. But this practice is physically based and doesn’t fulfill the need I have for meditation in movement.

* Sometimes I concentrate on the breath.

* Sometimes I concentrate on the weight distribution of my body across my feet and hands.

* Sometimes I focus on the stomach lock and ‘lifting’ the perineum.

* Sometimes I focus on the eye gaze and keep my face soft.

And then, sometimes, and more now than at any time before, I experience yoga. Yoga, that is, unity of movement. My focus is on the whole.

The mind is turned off. There is quiet. There is, and I exist within the forms.

And then, I am at one and my heart rings clearly, its vibrations moving like ripples of water on a lake through my body.

How to be unified in your practice?

Begin in the ‘right’ frame of mind
Understand what you are going to do. Turn the chatterbox off. Meditate quietly first and move into asana practice naturally.

For me, to practice ‘yoga’, I need to go slow. Hold poses for longer. Send your mind outwards. Feel yourself extend.

The inner smile is just the easiest way to feel one – smile from the inside with your practice. Feel the joy in your body. Let it lift you.

Student Advice
When you go to your yoga teacher – listen, pay attention, learn. Keep your ears open and your mind turned off. Practice with love towards your body.

When you are at home – do yoga. Be unified. Step onto your mat – let the things you have learnt in class disappear – and just be. Then you are yoga – then you are in unity, not wanting to be.


The Lili Effect said...

With weight gain on the top of my mind, most of my yoga classes I focus on self-love and self-acceptance. I have to spend a great deal of time enjoying where I am now, not where I "should" be, or where I've been in the past.

Tiffany said...

Self love - this was a tough one for me.
I had to start with the idea that I existed, and accept that, before I could move on to 'approve' or even 'like'...
Something that helped me, was the phrase 'We are all sparks of the divine'. Imagining myself, or knowing myself, to be of the great light, a little light in my own right, made me feel good.