Recently in a yoga therapy session, I was inquiring about the sensations the care-seeker experienced in her body. She claimed, "I was feeling tension in my hip, but when I brought my attention there, it went away. This is the power of attention. The healing begins before we even get started on any practice or protocol. This is because we are all self-healing organisms.
Your very consciousness governs certain universal laws, such as healing. This relaxation suggestion belongs to all of us. So why are we getting sicker? Why are we becoming more tense and stressed? My teacher David Frawley would say it is because our senses are being pulled apart in many different directions.
Holding our focus may be one of the most challenging things in our modern-day lives. We multi-task and take in information faster than any human has ever done before. As we divide our attention, the power of our healing and intuition goes along with it. We sit at our desks scrolling and opening email after email because we do not know where to begin.
Does this sound familiar?
Our minds and bodies operate at different paces, maybe even in different zip codes, when we are distracted. We require the union of mind, body, and spirit to be healthy and happy.
This month's theme is Dharana, which means to hold or support, especially with our attention. Dharana is one of the last three limbs in yoga that make up Raja Yoga. Raja yoga, sometimes called royal yoga, is the yoga of the mind. Practices such as meditation and instruction from Patanjali's yoga sutras are the tools of raja yoga. Over the next three months, we will progress through Raja yoga in our offerings at Pranayoga.
I invite you to join us in practicing Dharana by simply fixing your mind on one object. It can be anything internal or external. It may help to choose something upbeat, but it doesn't matter what you choose.
In our yoga practice, we may choose an object of focus like our thumb or big toe or even our breath weaving between the poses.
What is one thing you can focus on right now?
Is it the chair supporting you? The sound of cars outside? The smell of fresh air, the breath entering and exiting the nose. Just take 1 minute to focus on one thing. Tomorrow..do it again.
When we hold the present moment, we reconcile the past, and healing begins.