Yoga isn’t just showing up to the studio and practicing for an hour – it’s about showing up (in life) and paying attention. The truth of the matter is, most of us function throughout the day in an inattentive, unfocused way. Which is totally fine! Yes, it helps us multitask and we feel like we can get more done, but if we’re not careful then the end result can be a superficial experience of life.
Have you commuted to work, and when you arrive there you can’t remember anything about the trip? This happens to me all the time. I’m so absorbed in my phone or my music I literally don’t remember anything. Or sometimes I’m introduced to a person… and I instantly forget their name.
What I’ve realized is that it’s difficult to pay attention and be present in the moment. It takes practice to slow down, unplug, and give one thing our complete attention. Yoga is more than just the asana, it’s the mindfulness and attention that we cultivate, starting with our physical movement on mat. How can we make our movements more efficient and smooth? Eventually we can bring that same focus and attention to other areas in our life. Physical awareness is the fist step, and then we can begin to take note of our other things in our life. What types of foods are we eating? How much sleep did we get? Where are we spending most of our time? There’s no right answer to any of these questions.
The practice of yoga is a tool we can use to get touch with ourselves so that we can turn the lens inward and investigate our actions without judgement. Everything takes time, and if we focus on the practice, and learning, the right decisions will come. Pick one small thing in your life and start paying attention!