What are we looking for?
My therapist always talks about being aware of where I place my anxiety. He says that when we as humans can't sit in the discomfort of not knowing, of feeling unsettled, alone, disgruntled, fearful, ect we tend to look for an exterior place where to park our anxiety.
Yoga asanas are meant to help us to get a handle of our nervous system, help us to become aware of our reactions to what is coming at us, and moving through us, of how we process what is coming in, and what we choose to let go of or hold on to. Asana practice makes us aware of all the processes in our physical body but also our psyche. The more we practice and use practice as a means to observe ourselves as ongoing processes, the more we can begin to see ourselves as filters for what is constantly moving through us in life. We can also begin to develop filters that help us retain what nourishes our spirit and let pass through what is poisonous to it. How do we do this?
By learning to guide our minds to sift through the experiences and formations that are constantly passing through. Asana done with focused breathing and gazing, meaning our attention is fully engaged in the action we are taking, we are able to train our mind and to engage in stillness, to be one pointed, focused and unwavering. The more we practice that, the more space we give our nervous system to settle, so there is less need to react to the experiences that come at us, and more space to rest in them, observe them, digest them and let them dissolve. This dissolving of experience can only happen if the mind is disciplined enough to not grip and the nervous system settled enough to not jump and fire up as things come in. This is the great gift of yoga! It's a natural bi-product of of the practice, when done with focused attention and unwavering dedication. it's not to be taken lightly, each time we step on the mat we are rebalancing our system with each breath, it's very serious business.
Observe yourself, see where you place your anxiety, where you hold your experiences, and see if you can begin to experience yourself as a filter of life coming through. Can you let the anxiety move through, can you teach your mind to not grasp to it but rather focus on the infinite space beyond it? Can you create a life that supports you in being able to relax enough to take in - process - and let go of what is coming through you?
I'm no expert in this scientific field yet, but I'm a devoted student to the science of yoga, and a dedicated preacher of what I practice. When I teach I am interested in seeing where your attention is, in how I guide you to direct your attention where it needs to be rather then where it wants to go. It's a delicate job, I'm honored to be that person for you. I'm here to answer your questions in person (class or retreat) and online through my blog, so please connect with me.
We are all in this together :)
Here are some amazing opportunities to come study with me:
Upstate Fall Retreat October 11-14 @Ashtanga Yoga Newburgh
Puerto Rico Winter Retreat January 25-30 @Tres Sirenas, Rincon