Sunday, January 11, 2009

Paying Attention

When we set an INTENTION that sets things in motion. The universe steps in and conspires to bring that Intention to fruition. It makes things happen for us in the direction of that Intention. For the New Year we set an Intention for the coming year. Having a core Intention for the year is a wonderful way to build a particular attribute or quality in our lives. With every yoga practice we can set an Intention for that practice. This can help enhance our bigger Intention.

But we also need to pay ATTENTION. We want to pay Attention to our Intention, to how we are bringing that Intention consciously into our lives. Are we remembering our Intention? Are our actions in line with our Intention?

We can pay ATTENTION to the big picture. What is the overall feeling of my Intention? We can pay Attention to the smaller details. How do I integrate my Intention into my life? Are my thoughts in line with my Intention? How did that last action feed my Intention? Did I LIVE my Intention today? Or did I forget? How does that feel? Does it feel different to live by my Intention than when I forget to live by my Intention?

Our Attention will come and go like the seasons. We are part of Nature so there is always an ebb and flow. So we gently bring our Attention back to our Intention without judgment; just knowing that this is a process like everything else in our lives. If we live without Attention and are totally consumed by distraction, then our lives may not be fully what we would like them to be. There are so many distractions in life giving us a challenge to keep our Attention aligned with our Intention.

In our yoga practice we set an Intention. We want to be conscious of that Intention throughout our practice. That is part of our Attention. Our physical alignment is tied to our alignment with our Intention. So when we pay Attention to our alignment that feeds our Intention. We can bring our Attention to our foundation, to our breath, to our core, to our periphery, the lines and loops of energy in our body. All these keep our Attention focused in a positive way instead of the negative mindless chatter that we sometimes unconsciously fall into.

Take a moment to sit quietly. Bring your Attention to your foundation. Feel your sit bones connecting deeply with the Earth energy. From there feel the breath rise and bring your physical body into alignment. Feel the breath create a lightness and openness in your body.

Bring your Attention to your neck and shoulders. Move the top of the throat back and lengthen your neck until you feel that place of balance and ease.

Bring your Attention to your fingertips. Notice that outmost place on your body. How does that feel? Can you bring your Attention to that detail? Does it make you feel more alive?

By paying Attention to the details of your yoga practice you will begin to see how these details and principles apply to all the poses: balanced action, foundation and expansion.

When we pay Attention to what we want, we create our lives. When we pay Attention to what we fear, we become a victim. So notice where your Attention lies. Place it with your Intention, your ultimate vision. Where Attention goes, energy flows.

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