The ability to focus attention is an important part of any learning journey.
In the practice of yoga we have all these opposite pairing actions such as:
bending forward, bending backwards
twisting right, twisting left
balancing on one foot, then the other
We are constantly taken in and out of our center. Let's suppose that center is the NOW, the 'atha'.
We might find bending forward easier, or perhaps we find it easier to bend backwards, either way these actions are meant to take us out of our comfort zone. We have to exert our will in order to step away from our midline, our center.
In life however we are often out of our center, out of our present now, quite comfortably too…some might find its their comfort zone to be projected into the future, or dreaming about the past.
But if we are not in the present moment how can we react to life?
There is a pose in second series called Laghu Vajrasana, or little thunderbolt pose. I happen to have some problems with this pose. To perform the pose you stand on your knees, with your head stacked above your knees, so you are aligned over your center, then you have to reach backwards and grab your ankles. To complete the pose you lean back and put your head on the floor behind you, keeping your chest up and your knees down. Not the easiest pose to describe in writing, however you got the point...its complicated….and it clearly takes you out of your comfort zone.
Practicing this pose I came to realize how much I like to be in my center, how effortless it is to be standing in the now, without bending backwards or forwards….but just being in the center, in the now.
My question is….do we have to bend out of our center so far, to appreciate it? Do we have to spend so much of our time and energy in thinking of the future and the past to enjoy the now?
Perhaps we do, it took me 8 months of trying, to finally realize how much i just enjoy center…perhaps we do have to go extreme directions to appreciate what we have now, in the present moment.
I encourage you to explore where you are bending backwards out of center and where you are going forward, and see if you can find your center.