By practicing ekagrag, one pointed focus, we calm our nervous system and balance our energy.
It’s an illusion that we are in control of our lives. We think we are in control but we are not. We are simultaneously pulled in a millon different directions each day, week, year and maybe our entire life. The wheels of the world are turning faster and faster. We are victims of a multitude of external forces competing for our attention. Like this, think like this, wear this, look like this, eat this….. We are not even aware of what is happening as more than 90 % of our reactions to the world around us are determined by our subconscious mind.
In the old days, before digitalization happened, we had to interact with the world around us in a different way. Everything was happening in a slower pace and we had time to stop, reflect and introspect. We had more time for ourselves. Now we are used to interacting with the world as a member of a group without much space for the individual. When we don’t have the time or space for listening inwards we get exhausted and drained of our prana, our vital life force energy.
We need a system to handle the stress and imbalance of modern day living and that is why yoga is growing in popularity. Yoga, with regular daily practices, is a well known system that can help us improve our focus so that we pay attention to what’s important in our lives. In that way we can live more in balance with ourselves and others.
Yoga, the oldest method in the art of living that we know of, is dating back several thousands of years and has its roots in the ancient Hindu philosophy. Yoga teaches us about the science of life, how we can optimize our life here on earth and be successful at it. Success determined by how well we interact with ourselves, other people and all the other living things on this planet.
The suggestions below are oriented towards a higher consciousness which is the highest goal of yoga. These are fundamentals in the practice of yoga and tools you can bring with you outside of the yoga room all day, everyday for a happier and healthier life in balance.
1. Pay Attention
With yoga asana you get to practice paying attention to the feeling body, concentration on different part of the body or the body as a whole. The purpose of the asanas is to break trough the energy block, the grantis so that you become more sensitive and can feel what is going on in your life. When you learn how to pay attention to your body you can do it all the time. What do you feel? Where do you feel it? What emotions are there and what thoughts surfaces? Any old memories? Practice watching your feelings, thoughts or emotions without reacting or judging. Stay in your center and watch them come and go, because they do.
2. Stay Centered
The core of every yoga practice is the pranayma practice where we learn to direct and control our energy. With conscious breathing we direct the focus inwards. We practice what is called ekagra in yoga, the art of one pointed concentration of the mind. When we listen and feel the quality of our breath we instantly become aware if the breath is fast, shallow or irregular. Off the mat we can simply take 10 deep breaths to focus and center ourselves, slow down and reset our nervous system and in that way control our energy and focus.
3. Shift Your Focus
With mediation we get to practice pratayahara, sens withdraws, before we can meditate. Instead of focusing outwards we shift our focus inwards, the breath will take us there. Instead of following what others are doing ask yourself what you want and what you like. Ask yourself if a particular behavior is serving you. Before you get out of bed in the morning take 3 minutes and ask yourself how you are feeling. Was it anything you did the day before that was not serving you? Perhaps the food you had for dinner or the time you went to bed? Was it the book you read or the things you said? In this way you get to interact with yourself, correct and balance habits and behaiviors regularly.
Inorder for them to work you will have to make them part of your daily habits or subconscious mind so they grow strong and become automatic. The practice of yoga has to go deeper than just the hours on your yoga mat. It is a continuous act of cultivation the mind, body and spirit on and off the mat that springs from a daily yoga practice.