We start 2021 with our home yoga practice dedicated to satya – truthfulness/honesty.
And we also put focus on the second sutra, “yoga quiets the mind.”
Key elements to this practice are applying attention to our truth:
- Physical truth – capabilities, areas of development, limitations
- Breath truth – keeping our attention to it, growing its depth and acknowledging its limitations
- Mental truth – our motivations, our true desire at any moment in practice, and honesty about where our mind is while we practice.
These are by no means exhaustive. But they help give us a starting point to practice honesty on the mat.
A key element to focusing on creating a quiet mind this week is that I’m inserting deliberate silence as we go through sequences of the poses. So we have to move according to the sound of our own breath and you won’t hear my voice.
This insertion of silence is a crucial part of yoga practice. Turning off the distractions of phones, computers, music, other people’s voices …. Leaves us alone with the inner distractions and chatter. It helps isolate our attention. It helps create an honest and authentic space of practice. It makes it your own.
I’m not gonna lie. It can also drive us crazy! I notice how after a few times through I sequence I can hear my inner voice say, “cool, now you know what would make this better? Let’s play some Beyonce to the sequence next!”
Whoop, there it is! My need to be distracted raising its head. LOL.
You can construct your practice around this theme any way you like. It can be intense. It can be simple and deep long stretches.
Establish standing poses: 2-4-10 poses depending on how much you can remember (don’t create an intricate sequence that you can’t put back together. You’ll just be focused on trying to remember the pattern and lose focus on your practice!)
Do the same for seated poses, belly poses, reclining poses.
And set a number of times you want to repeat the sequence. Take a pause and sit or lay quietly between the sequences. Observe your mind.
Check in on:
Ease and steadiness – what was or was not at ease in the body, breath and mind?
Honesty – were your movements, breath and mind honest about ability and motivation through the sequence?
Maybe write in your journal what the sequence was and the amount of time and what you observed. What was hard? What was just unfamiliar and new? How distracted did you get? What felt calm and at ease in the silence?