What is Yoga? Most of the time people “find” their mat when they need a “fix.” Fix the back pain, fix the knees, the hips, fix anxiety…or just fix life in general. The physical aspect of yoga is usually what brings people through a yoga studio door. For some the journey starts there—but in no way ends there. On our mat we learn that the physical aspect (asana) of yoga prepares us for meditation to connect with self, with breath, and ultimately with universal consciousness. No matter your beliefs, your values, or your social status, your mat is your space for stillness, connection, development, and growth. Om House Yoga is currently on a journey with our 200 Level Teacher Trainees to expand and deepen their knowledge and understanding of what Yoga truly is–in all its depth and breadth. This journey brings a lot of “things” to the surface that we sometimes tuck away or hide from ourselves…it can also seemingly flip your life upside down. Things you believed to be true, now you question.
We are honored and humbled to be apart of these human journeys with each and every one of our Om House students and cOMmunity. We have asked our Teacher Trainees to read the book, How Yoga Works and write about some of their favorite pieces. We are excited to share these with our cOMmunity. Please let us know what you think and share your thoughts…or even explain what yoga is to you.
OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI. (In the waking, dreaming, sleeping, and stillness states, PEACE, PEACE, PEACE)
Teacher Trainee Overview
How Yoga Works Meaningful Passage
Locking the mind
On an object
And staying on that object
Over a stretch of time
At first my interpretation of this passage was as follows; to focus is positive but to fixate is negative or becomes an obsession. My interpretation was incorrect, even though I could immediately relate to what I thought was right. I thought my interpretation was so stellar I even sent this passage to my mother thinking she could surely benefit in some way by these inspirational words. Of course I sent this to her before I read the actual meaning of the passage as it was explained by Friday in the very next sentence of the book (another life lesson, slow down and look forward before you jump to any rash decisions or conclusions). “So you see, focusing the mind, and fixing it there, so it is still, has the same effect on the channels that we are trying to achieve with yoga…” There is clearly a difference between focus, fixation and obsession. Friday explains focus as something we all do in our daily routines, although ineffectively, as our mind flitters from one object to focus on to the next. Fixation is being able to “focus” on that one thing for an extended period of time without letting our mind flitter on to the next object (what meditation teaches us, right!?).
I always considered myself someone who could focus on multiple things at once or perhaps, in other words, a multitasker. Being a multitasker is something I was proud of, something I figured was efficient! I hear a lot of people boast about being able to multitask, maybe even striving to be a multitasker. I don’t want to be a multitasker anymore. I don’t want to focus on multiple objects but never really be engaged or fixated on just one important thing. Reflecting on my past I often wondered why I was unable to remember details and memories, even of my precious children not too long ago. Among other things, I understand this was primarily due to my ability to multitask, or my inability to fixate on what is happening in the now. My superior skill in multitasking is now what I consider to be my memory stealer. I didn’t just start to recognize this after reading this passage but it certainly confirmed my suspicions and inspired me to continue my journey with meditation and continued improvement on the ability to fixate. This is the biggest reason why I don’t bring my phone/camera to parks, concerts, vacations, special events or anything else that I want to retain in my mental camera forever anymore. I don’t want to see my children or loved ones through a lens. I realized that if I was trying to focus on the event, my child/person, the camera and the “moment” I couldn’t do it all and expect to retain meaningful feelings that are linked to memories, what mean the most! Thank you Miss Friday for helping me understand more in depth how this journey will continue to shape, influence and mold my life and those around me for the better.