What distracts you when you are practicing?
Is it your pets, your kids, your phone, your mind?
The big take away for today is…
It is what you do before you get on the mat that is going to help keep you focused in your Iyengar yoga practice.
1. Create physical space for your practice
Creating a space is integral to making your practice happen and helping you stay focused in your practice.
Choosing a space that is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of household activity to help to keep the practice more focused
Tell the housemates/family members what the space is for and how you would like it respected. Don’t assume they know or understand the importance of the space to you.
2. Create physical space for your practice
Our mindset, our mental approach to our practice is critical to what the practice looks like. If we are beating ourselves up to do it, with lots of ‘I have to’s’ and whip whip whip, there ain’t much chance of it going smoothly, enjoying it and it happening again very soon.
When I was in Pune, Raya was talking about wooing your practice, sending it a love letter. Coaxing it gently and wooing like something you love. This image really stuck with me.
Write your practice I love letter. Literally, sit down and write all the things you love about your practice and why you want to spend so much time with it.
If we treat our practice like a lover or partner we have to make time for them... right? When your partner is talking to you, you listen with full attention to the details of their story, so do the same with your practice, listen to your body in your practice, be curious about what the asana are telling you.
Loyalty. Be loyal to your practice. Make a commitment that when you are practicing your are going to be loyal to it, not cheat on it with your mind somewhere else, not cheap on it by thinking about another lover:)
3. Diversify your sequences
A big part of why we lose concentration and focus when we are practicing is because we a practicing like robots, mechanically and the same old asana that we are comfortable with over and over again.
Have a range of sequences (not all created by you) at hand, to follow. This might be illustrated PDF’s, audio, video etc. You will be alert and listening for the cues in the sequence simply because it won’t be familiar to you and this will in itself keep you more engaged.
Practice with a friend and take turn leading or alternate calling the pose. Having someone else to practice with can simply create energy that keeps you more focused and on your mat for longer and you will get ideas for things to practice by seeing what they are doing.
Start to include unfamiliar poses into your practice. Asana that are within your league but that you are not confident with, ones that you have to think about to get into them and consider your move.
In the video below I go into all the details of staying focused on the mat. Watch it now.
If you want more tips and ideas for creating sequences CLICK HERE