We can all connect to instances like walking into a room only to forget what we originally came for, or having too many things on our “to do “ list than hours in the day to support successful completion. Technology constantly keeps us over-stimulated. So much so, that our desire for clarity is wishful thinking on a daily basis. Yoga to the rescue!
Yoga teaches us that the art of making your mind steady is to cultivate a “one pointed” practice. Furthermore, that using meditation to give the mind a break from the racing patterns, is recommended as part of your daily morning practice, or Dinacharya. A common question is what should the one-pointed focus be? Most yogis use the breath, as it enhances the cultivation of awareness of self. In yoga, a myriad of breathing exercises and pranayamas exist to help calm the nervous system, in addition to being beneficial to many systems of the body, not just the respiratory and immune system. After all, breath is life, and life force is known as prana.
Set aside 5 to 10 minutes of your morning, use a supported Savasana (Corpse pose) or sit in Sukhasana (Happy/Easy pose) and try this simple breathing exercise: Begin by creating space in the body, be at your tallest spine, create breadth in your body. Turn your attention to your breath and notice where your breath goes. Note the tensions you can let go with each exhalation. These tensions are connected to negative patterns, habits, and mental instability. In releasing them you are creating space. Inhale in a slow, controlled manner to fill the space with an expansiveness of prana, life force. Sense the peacefulness of your mind and body after just a few deep breaths. You are providing nourishment of fresh oxygen to your body and to your mind, so inhale deeply, exhale completely.
Once you have cultivated the practice of focusing on the breath, you will be able to shift your one pointed practice to other objects without becoming distracted. It is a matter of practice. The fruit of the labor is the clarity that comes when you allow the mind to quiet this way. Clarity helps you have a realistic outlook, shed false expectations, understand duties and expectations, refine mental energy and have a more positive outlook. In essence, having clarity is all about revealing the real you, bringing your understanding of your true self to the surface, that the world gets to see miracle of who you are, so that the potential of your gifts can be realized. Then you will be able to do what you are intended to do – and contrary thoughts will no longer be a obstacle or a distraction. So what are you waiting for? The time to begin is now, according to the first yoga sutra “Atha Yoga Anushanasunam,” now the study of yoga begins. Once you set a clear goal that is meaningful and has potential to move the world forward, you will see how untiringly the mind moves toward that goal.
What pursuits are you supporting with your yoga practice? Share your motivation with us! Want to learn more? Join us for our two-week online course called, “Essential Yoga Practice Sangha,” beginning October 15.