“Postures strengthen and develop will and body – physical and mental development are intertwined.” -Bishnu Ghosh
( I got this image from http://www.yogawell.org)
Some of you have been practicing yoga for quite some time, either with me or another instructor. Have you ever noticed that when you practice, it’s not just your body that walks away stronger and more flexible? You mind comes along for the ride as well. I mean, think about it….when you practice on your mat, you have to be REALLY focused on what you’re doing. If you’re not focused on what your body is doing, then you risk injuring yourself, especially if you’re attempting one of the more challenging poses.
Focusing on what your body is doing — how it feels in each pose, which muscles are stretching and which are strengthening — forces your mind to let go of all the emotional “junk” you might have brought along with you to class. You HAVE to let it go, or else there is no chance you’ll obtain the focus you need. And when your mind is able to let go, even for just the time you’re in a class, it gets stronger. Suddenly, you may find you’re able to get stop worrying about the little things, and instead focus on the more important things in your life. Sometimes we get so caught up in worry over things that don’t really matter, and it just sucks the energy right out of us.
This week in class, find one thing in each pose to focus on — maybe you pick a muscle to focus on, or maybe the breath — and see what happens. After class, notice how you feel for the rest of the day or even the rest of the week. My hope is that you’ll find more clarity, which could help you if you’ve been struggling with something tough in your life or you’re confused about which direction to go in. My challenge to you is to try and get on your mat and practice at least three times this week, so you can really start to refine this skill. You don’t have to necessarily go to a formal class to do this — roll out your mat at home and try, even it’s just for 15 minutes. Any time you can devote is beneficial.
Good luck! I know that it’s hard for me to spend the time I need to with my yoga practice, so I totally get that it may be very hard for you as well. But I have seen it — when I am diligent and practice my yoga the way I know I should, it’s amazing how my whole life improves. You deserve the same for yourself…let me know how you fare, and don’t hesitate to ask me for help if you need it. We are in this journey together!