You don’t need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding. – Guy Finley
Yesterday was a rather interesting yoga session. I was completely out of focus, constantly distracted by an endless flow of thoughts I kept engaging with. The more I was trying to ground myself and stay present, the deeper I was pulled back into my thoughts. It looked as if I was standing on quicksand. So instead of focus, mindfulness and tranquility that I usually get out of yoga, all I got in return was that utter irritation, lack of balance and a bitter sense of disapproval of myself.
The swirl of flashing images just wouldn’t stop turning in my mind. So the idea of anchoring my focus is still a challenge for the monkey mind of mine…
So there, I was trying to focus. As I believed that as long as you detect the stressors that trigger that enormous outburst of thoughts, they would magically dissolve into a thin air granting you permission to breathe easily and stay present. I may gain focus for a while, but then again, that flow of thoughts would return buzzing annoyingly. So I’m still falling for that mistake that yoga and meditation will rid my mind of the thoughts and ideas all at once. That’s not possible. And replacing thoughts with a vacuum was never a target of the day…
How to Focus During a Yoga Lesson
When I realised that I wasn’t focusing I was trying to let go of that. There is absolutely no sense in focusing on not focusing at all. Some days in yoga class seem to be easy, some days are downward tough. But there is no such thing as a hopeless situation and I’ve learned something that helped me focus during the second half of the yoga session.
In the middle of the class, our teacher suggested doing the pranayama (breathing) practice. Although I was reluctant towards the idea, as I never saw any point in it, I went through with it. I’ve always underestimated what this practice really did and how beneficial it really is. And then something interesting happened during that session when we did a couple of fast breathings pranayamas, to be more precise. It helped me in figuring out what to do with that monkey mind of mine.
Cut the Negative Self-Talk
Self-talk is more than a useless chatter. Somehow it creates the reality around you on its own. When you believe you cannot do something, you might be right, the same is true vice versa.
Whether you think you can or you can’t. Either way, you’re right. – Henry Ford
Self-talk perfectly indicates the way you relate to your own self as much as to other people. Imagine, you are at a party and you keep on pressing on a thought that all you have to say is not important, or not interesting at all. Tell yourself this and see what happens. People will feel the same way about you exactly what you feel about yourself.
Negative self-talk arises continuously during yoga classes. I observe it and try to keep it out. It’s useless, I understand that. And it never brings peace or tranquility I aim for. Therefore, bye-bye!
Establishing Connection Between Body and Mind
I noted recently during yoga session that the more I move and change asanas, the better connection I feel between body and mind. The more dynamic my yoga practice is the fresher the flow of thoughts I get.
The secret here is simple. CONCENTRATE on your asanas and muscles involved in performing them. Keep your focus on the sensations in your body. What does it feel like? Is it pleasant? Keep your focus.
Breathe In, Breathe Out
To summarise this all: FOCUS ON BREATHING!
Yesterday I’ve realised something… How blessed I am to wake up and… BREATHE. The feeling of gratitude filled me up as I released the air from my lungs and thoughts from my restless mind. I never had a chance to acknowledge this simple truth so vividly – this simple breathing is such a beautiful and priceless gift of life! Realisation of that filled me with joy.
Then that sense of lightness came sneaking into my mind and I felt peace again.
photo from vk.com