This is an extract from an article written by the director of the Ballarat Iyengar Yoga centre in Australia, which I think you’ll enjoy. The link to the full article is at the end. Thanks to Charlotte of Iyengar Yoga Derby for sending it in.
It’s part of my job as an Iyengar Yoga Teacher, to help you stay engaged with the asana work, to draw your attention to correctly aligning your feet, pulling up your kneecaps, lifting your chest, drawing your shoulders back and down etc. This way your mind, your awareness goes to those body parts and tries to make those actions happen – they certainly don’t happen easily, if at all, when your mind wanders and gets distracted, as it is so often inclined to do, in us all!
So when you tell me after a class that it went so quickly, that you feel calmer and better, or you realise that it has ‘taken your mind off things’, you were experiencing mindfulness – “an active state of attention on the present”, on your mat, through the practice of the asanas (the poses), and my job is partly done.
The more you practise the asanas (mindfully), the more that ability to focus on a particular thing and stay attentive and connected in that present moment, will readily apply to other aspects of your life. I really love that quote by B.K.S. Iyengar, from Light on Life;
“The practice of yoga teaches us to deal with each task in the day as it arises, and then to put it down. This might include answering our letters or returning our calls, doing the washing up, letting anger drop as soon as the moment is past.”
With gratitude to the teachings of Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar.
See you on the mats!