In Sanskrit, dharana means focus, particularly on a single level of focus. 2020 has been a whirlwind of vital occasions, each combating for our consideration. Our smartphones have prompted many people to lose focus, whereas we mindlessly “doom scroll” by means of social media, amplifying our anxiousness and sense of helplessness. On this fast-changing world, it’s crucial to be taught and consistently enhance the talent of focus.
Cultivating Focus By way of Focus
After we had been younger, our mother and father and academics typically informed us “to focus.”
However did they ever really train us how?
For me, the reply isn’t any, and I preserve this entrance of thoughts whereas studying the observe of dharana. One among my academics used this analogy when explaining dharana: lack of focus is sort of a gentle bulb whereas a laser pointer is dharana. A lightweight bulb’s vitality shoots out in lots of instructions, whereas the laser pointer is concentrated and centered into one stream of vitality. I’ve additionally heard it described as “tunnel imaginative and prescient,” the place we solely see the specified final result, rendering all different issues irrelevant.
One of many largest academics for me inside my continued efforts to synthesize all eight limbs has been my drishti observe whereas doing asana yoga. Drishti is a Sanskrit phrase which means “yogic gaze.” Utilizing this gaze has helped me domesticate my focus. Right here’s how I do it: I gaze in direction of the tip of my nostril, which prompts the third eye. Typically, I make the most of a drishti the place I shut my eyes and give attention to the forehead level as nicely.
The phrase focus comes from the Italian phrase concentrare, which means to carry collectively or come to a typical heart. Drishti is my favourite approach of cultivating focus, whether or not in asana, pranayama observe and even throughout plant sits, once I commune with the therapeutic powers of vegetation in nature.
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Focus by means of Commentary
Dharana is greater than merely being able to take care of a single pointed focus, it’s about observing the scattered nature of thought. A part of dharana is with the ability to observe when our consideration is drifting away from what we want to focus on and easily bringing it again in direction of our focus. Understanding this has modified my method to many duties and actions. Whether or not I’m altering my consuming habits, working in direction of sustaining a 40-day observe, or studying a guide, dharana has taught me that ideas, vitality, and a spotlight will naturally wander from my desired level of focus. And when that occurs, I’m not doing something “incorrect.” As an alternative, dharana has taught me that if I don’t end my 40-day observe, lose focus when studying a guide, or neglect the adjustments I’ve made to my weight-reduction plan, I don’t decide myself too harshly. I merely observe, and convey my focus again to the duty at hand. Any perceived hindrances turn out to be a part of the cultivation and understanding of focus itself. The extra I do that, the simpler it’s for me to focus on something, irrespective of how lengthy. This embodied expertise of dharana permits me to expertise the method. After we be taught to deepen our focus, we organically start to traverse into the subsequent limb of yoga: dhyana, meditative absorption.
Strive This Mantra Meditation for Dharana
This can be a private variation of a observe that I used to be given throughout my yoga instructor coaching. The primary focus throughout this observe is to focus on the drishti. The gaze will be with eyes closed and centered on the third eye level or softly gazing on the tip of the nostril. We shall be repeating the mantra “Har.” “Har” is a facet of God that represents God’s infinite creativity.
To start, sit in Simple Pose (Sukhasana) with a straight backbone. Carry your arms to a 90-degree angle above your head. Chant the mantra, “Har, whereas closing and opening your fists shortly. Make sure to contact the higher palate simply above the tooth to emphasise the “r” sound when chanting. Throughout every repetition, pull the navel inward and permit it to naturally return to a relaxed place. Proceed for 11 minutes.
This yr, Yoga Journal’s annual ambassador street journey—the Stay Be Yoga Tour—goes digital. We’re calling it The Decompression. Not too long ago, we’ve all been requested to journey inward, to take moments of pause and stillness, and to decelerate, relaxation, and prioritize the issues we worth. Follow the Live Be Yoga 2020 series here, keep linked with us at @livebeyoga on social, and be a part of the motion to seek out magnificence in stillness.