Our modern world has many distractions. Some pleasurable and we crave them. Some irritate us because they take our attention away leaving us feeling pulled in every direction.
So much arises in our day to day which robs us of time and energy sending us round in circles.
We can be distracted by our body, its aches and pains or the way it looks, a mind that won’t stop having thoughts that make us irritable, angry or depressed.
If only we had control over these distractions so that they did not rule our lives…
Every aspect of yogic practice involves attention and awareness. When we guide the mind back to the practice, the feeling of muscle and joints, to the sensations within or to our breath. When we guide our minds back from thoughts about what our boss, colleague or partner said to us earlier in the day. When we guide the mind back from plans for the future to the sensation of the practice we are doing in class.
Each time we notice a distraction and gently bring our attention back to the present moment, we are practicing meditation. We are practicing Yoga.
Fixing our attention and guiding our wandering minds back over and over again, is a core aspect of all Yogic practices, whether in Asana(physical postures) or Dhyana (meditation).
If you find meditation difficult. If your mind wanders and distraction keeps you from focusing, you are not alone. The aim of meditation in the early stages is to practice refocus, not to be focussed. There is a subtle difference.
Once again our aim as a beginner is to practice the skill of “refocus” not to be “focussed”.
Every distraction is an opportunity to practice. Every thought gives us something to watch as it arises, knowing we are more than just our thoughts. We are the quiet still witness to them.