This week in class we will be exploring facing our habits in Yoga asana.
Genius . . . means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an inhabitual way.
– William James
Attention is very much like a searchlight, and it should be mounted in such a way that it can be trained on any subject freely. When we are caught up in some compulsion, this searchlight has become stuck. After many years of being stuck like this, it is hard to believe that the light can turn. We think that the compulsion has become a permanent part of our personality. But gradually, we can learn to work our attention free.
As an experiment, try to work cheerfully at some job you dislike: you are training your attention to go where you want it to go. Whatever you do, give it your best concentration. Another good exercise is learning to drop what you are doing and shift your attention to something else when the situation demands. For example, when you leave your office, leave your work there. Don't let it follow you home and come into the dining room like an untrained dog, barking at your heels.
All this is the spiritual equivalent of kicking exercises in a dance lesson or knee bends in an aerobics class. By practicing these exercises, anybody can learn to direct attention freely.
Words to Live By: Inspiration for Every Day – Eknath Easwaran
The homework is to notice how your Yoga asana practice brings to light your habits, likes and dislikes. Challenge yourself when you find you are going on automatic when practicing asana and make your practice more in the
moment and more
dynamic. Learn how this practice can then be generalized to your life off of
Rushing Water Yoga