Inside Yoga 283 (21/10/2019)
One of the hardest aspects of yoga practice whether it is asanas (postures) or dhayana (meditation) is the ability to stick the point, in other words maintaining our full attention to our body, our mind and our breathing while practising.
One of the best examples of how this is true is a standing balancing posture like Vrksasana (Tree posture) because the moment we become distracted by thoughts, including thoughts which judge our own ability to stand on one leg, we wobble and end up back on two feet. We might say that thinking about the posture is part of it, but it is not, we aim to silence the mind, no matter what arises, and concentrate on the exercise, and calm the mind and body, and refocus.
This determination is relevant for all postures, and also, when seated in meditation, because when distractions arise, whether they are the result of a thought or a sound from an external source, we do our best to return to the exercise, because in essence yoga is teaching us to concentrate – to stick to the point. We might get a good stretch and feel relaxed, but the process is focussed on our ability to concentrate the mind without distraction.
Yoga trains our mind to have the ability to override distractions and thoughts, so that we can remain focussed, and this is why, when in a posture we train ourselves to stop distractions as soon as possible, nipping them in the bud before they throw us – as in a balancing posture, returning to the point.
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