Yesterday was day 2 of MySore this week. If you’ve missed some posts and have no idea what MySore is you can read more about this type of Yoga training here. When I’m stepping on my yoga mat in this intense training, it makes me think about what focus really is? I also become aware of how unfocused we are in life. Only when I’m in a certain yoga posture and really have to focus to not fall to the ground, I realise how little I use this skill, focus.
Do less but with more intention
Do we have to fall to become aware of focus? Maybe. I was in one of these postures where you have to stand on one leg and hold the other one forward in your big toe. The teacher was standing there helping me to lift the leg and said “touch”. He basically won’t go until I’ve finished the sequence correct. The faster I can focus and get my stuff together, the faster the slightly painful stretch will be over. I started to loose balance and he said “focus”. I tried to focus by looking at one spot, feeling some kind of ground in that standing leg that felt more like a boat on a stormy ocean.
It wasn’t easy but I did it! Afterwards I felt quite happy about this achievement. Never did I think I could do that. Maybe that’s the teachers role also, to guide students to become aware of their full potential. Often I realise many yoga teachers have great humour. You need to in life and in this sometimes hard practice. I was in this other training in the afternoon (yes, I’m in it for twice a day these days), and the teacher wouldn’t leave the pose until one of his students smiled. We take ourselves so seriously sometimes.
Wether we want it or not it’s hard not to get distraction. In a work setting, “focus” for me means at least a couple of tabs open on my computer screen. Maybe listening to some music, flicking back and forwards to get information or copy and the work with some softwares. Mobile phones, constant alarm, email, chat notifications, upgrades, we always get distracted and find ourselves doing many things at the same time, all the time.
Only when I stand on one leg I really have to focus hard on what I’m doing. Not 3, 4 things, only 1. Stand up straight, where is my weight? Balance, strength, not falling, where to look? I can feel this is a useful exercice, not only for yoga but also for life. To practice how to focus can help us in everyday life.
Sequence order (again!)
So day two and I thought I had it but no. Apparently I was doing one section of the standing series completely wrong. When you look at those pose charts, it says how it should look in the pose but not actually how you got to it. So I’ve kind of guessed and then done it that way. I felt a littlebit embarrased not knowing this part of the practice. Later on, when we are on the floor, the teacher doesn’t care so much as it’s all individual and people practice different things according to their level anyway. But the first half is same for all, basic foundation.
So kind as he was, he took me through it, step by step, breath by breath, those few postures. I got an “aha” moment and now understand it kind of makes sense. Hopefully I’ll remember this now. I forgot something again in this part. I thought I knew the first part but apparently not. Again, he said “focus!”.
This revealed something else in me. I thought that the biggest struggles I had in yoga was strenght and flexibility. Maybe more strength but sometimes flexiblity too. Maybe it’s none of those two but actually focus? This brings some new light and determination to practice more focus. Strenght and flexibility too but I think that will come. If we are not focused, we can’t do anything. So I’ll now try to do less but with more intention.