The inability to concentrate seeps into our yoga and meditation practice more often than we like to admit. As students, many of us simply go through the motions—either moving through our morning vinyasa mindlessly or sitting on our cushions barely noticing when our mind has left the building and is off somewhere cavorting with the “shoulds” and “if onlys” it knows so well.
As teachers we often ask our students to set an intention for practice; we remind them that yoga (and meditation) allows them to go so much deeper if they approach it with present-moment focus. But what does that mean exactly and how does one learn to truly pay attention? Four teachers recently weighed in on this topic.
1. In our Fall issue, Rolf Sovik weaves together two types of meditation practices—concentration (mantra) and mindfulness—to help students and teachers refine, deepen, and energize our practice.
2. In that same issue Shari Frederichsen reminds teachers that we can’t teach our students until we can develop and teach from the awareness of our own breath.
3. Elena Brower and Erica Jago, in their stunning book Art of Attention (due out this November), show you how to pay attention in every aspect of your practice—a gift that spills over into the rest of your life. They’ve created five practice sequences that will inspire you and show you what it truly means to be alive in your practice. They focus on three aspects: setting an intention (samkalpa); moving through a sequence with that intention; and reflecting on and resting in your awareness. For more information, follow them on Facebook.