Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Keep Your Mind in the Yoga Room

Bikram Yoga starts the same each time, a breathing exercise, done twice…then a series of postures in the same order each time. This consistency and structure are something that I appreciate and enjoy. It isn’t for everyone, many people find the structured class too restricting and unforgiving. For me, it gives me an opportunity to focus on my practice and work on focusing my mind not on what is trying to invade my yoga time, but focus on the task at hand, practicing yoga.

Today as I stood still before Standing Head to Knee Pose, I noticed the sweat streaming down my arms like I was in a shower.  It is interesting to me how much water can seep out of a body. I must lose a gallon or more of sweat each class. It was pouring off my face and running down my arms almost tickling my skin. My thoughts were quickly interrupted by David, the instructor, giving instructions for Standing Head to Knee Pose and all the sudden my mind was back on the posture and locking my knee.

As class laid down for Savasana, our instructor said Savasana is the hardest posture to do correctly. This is because part of doing the posture correctly involves keeping the mind in the room, not thinking about anything but laying there, breathing. David, our instructor said we should keep our minds in our brain, meaning, you have to keep your mind in the room, focused on yoga and your breath.

Then as I completed the full expression of Fixed Firm Pose, I noticed on the wall the word “concentration” and it seemed ironic to me that I was not concentrating on the posture any longer, I was focusing on the word. And how appropriate I thought…I should be concentrating on the pose and the instructions. And yet, I laid there thinking of “concentration” and thinking…I should blog about this. And then just like that, I heard David say “use your elbows to help yourself up…” and I was back in class, focused on the yoga.

I don’t think the postures are the hardest part of class, although, they are darn hard, the hardest part is letting go of the world outside of the yoga room enough to allow the yoga to work its magic. If you can let go and “keep your mind in your brain”, you will be amazed at how great a class you can have! I plan on working on this every time I go to yoga.

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