365 Challenge Day 199 – Focus

30 Dec

It’s been a while since I’ve written about yoga!!  That’s because it’s become such a good “routine”, that I just go to class several times a week, and don’t even think much about it.  But I do actually have a lot to say, and I don’t want this to turn into a blog about saving money (my most recent goal.)

Since my background is in silent meditation, and I’m going to yoga as a form of meditation, it was tricky for me to figure out how to direct my attention.  I’m used to having one “anchor” in meditation, for example the breath, and the practice is simply to stay on the anchor, notice when you’re off, and then bring your attention back.  Over, and over, and over.

In yoga, I would bring my attention to the breath, the ujjiyi breath, but then feel like I was being “interrupted” when the teacher would give instruction or talk too much.  I’d get annoyed, thinking, Why won’t they be quiet so I can focus on my breath?!?  AND, then there are all the other things to focus on, such as drishti (the focused gaze) the bandhas, oh yeah, and the postures!  The more I tried to focus on all these things, the more confusing I found it!  I’d wonder, How am I supposed to keep my attention on all these things, AND listen to the instruction at the same time?  It’s impossible!!

Well, I finally got a chance to ask my teacher, and I’m kind of embarrassed that I didn’t figure it out on my own.  You are supposed to focus on all those things, but NOT AT THE SAME TIME. It is more of a sequence.  This makes so much sense!!  This way of practicing doesn’t develop the kind of one-pointed focus that I’m used to in a meditation.  BUT, that is the beauty of it.  This is why I am doing yoga instead of silent meditation.  This is a practice that teaches you to “let it in” and stay focused, not “block it out” and stay focused.  See what I mean?  This makes a world of difference when you are trying to practice in a way that is more integrated into life.  For example, this is what teaches me to switch my focus between what I am doing, and responding to my kids, without seeing them as an interruption, but rather as part of the flow of practice, of life.

 

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