A recounting of my experience with yoga as a child and which parts I took into my practice today. Singlemindedness.
Luckily for me I was fortunate enough to be born into a family of yogis. Little did I know at the time how truly blessed I was to be brought to these spiritual classes at such a young age. At the time I couldn’t have forseen the importance of concentration during my yoga practice and didn’t truly understanding what “drishti” was. For me It was the confidence and gaze that a child has as they live in their own world, thinking all eyes are on them ⇒
When I practiced as a child little to none of the furry and stir that sometimes lives inside my adult mind was present. I didn’t have recurring thoughts coming up throughout my yoga practice, tampering with my balance and steady mind. My mind was utterly spotless and free, only living in the moment. Sometimes when I am holding a pose and perfecting my drishti as I blur my eyes and look towards the center of my nose – I go back to that moment when I was a kid “grabbing my foot behind my head” and didn’t have a care in the world.
These memories run so deeply of doing the vinyasa flow, hearing “chatarunga” in many of my classes and remembering the first times I heard it from my old studio owner Suze. As with ashtanga where the sequence gets lodged in your memory, these early routines set the stage for muscle memory of the vinyasa sequence. Cultivating the basis for a deeper practice later on.
Now serving me later on I utilize this sense of concentration in my practice (on a good day) and the light hearted and playful manner of a child. Think of a child, if you asked a kid to stand on one foot he or she would without hesitation! And they would probably hold it for a decent amount of time! Unashamed if they fell to try again.
We can achieve this childlike sense of ease by simply looking ahead, blurring your eyes slightly, and focusing on the essence and wholeness of the pose in the mirror not individual parts. We have learned to categorize what looks wrong and right by pictures we have seen or other people in the poses, but looking beyond that to see the shape of the posture as a whole we can micro correct more easily and balance with more ease.There have been a few times, such as in eagle pose or half moon, when it ‘clicked’ why these poses were named as such!!
By looking at the whole of my being in the mirror rather than fixating on certain parts of my body, I was better able to align the pose and balance. Instead of focusing on the aspects of our pose that need improvement we can lift ourselves up by going towards the spirit of the asana. If you fall then you fall, and learn!… And then move right on just like a child would.
xoxo, Marisa N. Moonbeamz ♥