As I plan a session for week 6 of my private yoga program, ‘The Transformation Journey With The Eight Limbs Of Yoga’ – I’m being reminded how important Dharana is… the 6th Limb.
The 6th Limb of Yoga: Dharana
Dharana is the binding of the mind to one place, object or idea ~ Yoga Sutras 3.1
Can you remember the last time you were totally focused on one activity? Maybe while reading, writing, or playing an instrument?
We often feel a sense of peace while performing these activities because the mind gets to do what is was made to do, focus on ONE thing.
We strengthen the mind by focusing on one area and practice controlling it. The mind is a muscle we can train, and it’s not beyond our control.
To integrate this practice into your life, start by when you eat, just eat and avoid reading and browsing the Internet at the same time. When you go out for a walk, just walk and avoid talking to friends on the phone.
Dharana is essentially ending multi-tasking.
I was again reminded of Dharana in class this week when the music stopped playing.
I had never taught a studio class without it and there was a couple moments of pure anxiety as I tried to get it to play again. Once I realized it wasn’t happening, I let go of the distraction and settled into the sound of my voice (which I often don’t like) and was able to tune in more to the present moment, the practice, my students breathing, the alignment cues and the overall energy in the room.
It was pure magic.
To make it even better, almost every student told me after class how much they enjoyed it, as it allowed them to focus and concentrate more.
My entire 300hr advanced teacher training was without music, so I was again brought back to those magical moments in Bali of silence and the breath and I started to realize how much I actually prioritize silence and Dharana in my life now.
I love music, don’t get me wrong, but playing it, as even instrumental background music while you work, drive or do anything, is causing a distraction that you might not even realize.
Silence can be filled with anxiety at first, because it brings up things, but once you get a glimpse of the peace it provides, even if you are just doing one thing, it can be so powerful.
Dharana then helps you to prepare for meditation which has so many benefits physically, mentally and emotionally.
There are 7 other Limbs of Yoga I go through in my 8 week private yoga program, ‘The Transformation Journey With The Eight Limbs of Yoga’.
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