The focus of yoga

another blog post which is a copy of a recent email i sent out to people comming to my classes. thought it would be worth sharing here.


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A couple of quick thoughts from me – while teaching today a few things  came up that really fascinate me. These are things that set yoga apart from most other exercise in my mind. Anyone can teach you to lunge or bend over that is not yoga.

Yoga comes from the intention and brain training aspects of the practice for me. So when I ask you to move one arm and you move both or look around to see what others do that is absolutely fine – this is normal but also one of the things that requires attention. So often our minds are flying around thinking about 500 different things and we don’t listen to what is going on in the moment, we travel ahead or have internal dialog about how we can’t do this and that. None of that is important. Yoga attempts to get us into this particular moment so when I ask you to do something(assuming I am making a modicum of sense) you do just that – you don’t think about what might be next or what you are doing later, you acknowledge possible discomfort but don’t let that take over. This is what many people call meditation. I have never been one for sitting and meditating but I can move and meditate – single minded focus with no mind distractions – that is where we want to head. I would be lying massively if I told you I can do that often but when it happens its wonderful.

So I bombard you with information and instructions partly to crowd out all the other stuff that goes on in your brains – this should not stress you out and if it does pick something to focus on. For instance just focus on the movements and totally forget about the breathing instructions. Or if you need to lie down for a minute to collect yourself do that.
The classes are a bit faster than normal at the moment – this is partly guided by the time of year. We need to energise and activate.

I am very open to suggestions and criticisms please do tell me if you are not enjoying it and what needs to change – but no dogs or goat involvement please!

And always remember I have and extremely dry sense of humour – my favourite teacher at school when I grew up was my English teacher who was a holocaust/concentration camp survivor. He was a gentle soul but often really dry – he would frequently tell someone to throw themselves out of the window when they got the irregular verbs wrong or suggest that I would rather break my leg length ways than get my spellings right. He was right I hated spelling and still do!
So have a good weekend and just once  in a while when you do something check if you are in the moment – this particular moment and not the next one!

Thomas
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