“Focused fun” – I’m coining this term to describe asana practice. More and more people are getting on their yoga mats to release stress and tension –mental, physical and emotional. Ironically with the intent to let go of tension, more often than not they look stressed out as they are moving through their practice. I witness this frequently in the office yoga classes (aka corporate yoga) I teach as well as in the studio environment.
To fully experience yoga asana, you must be present. To be present, you must be aware of the moment at hand. To be aware, you must be focused with the eyes, on the breathing, feeling the movement. Yes, there’s a lot going on in the asana practice and it’s a lot of work –mentally and physically. And it’s fun work. Focused fun!
If you’re not focused and constantly scanning the body internally and externally (awareness) when you’re on the mat, there’s a greater tendency to check out of the present moment. Being focused and present takes continuous practice. It’s a moment-by-moment practice. Asana is a moment-by-moment practice. And to fully live life, you need to be in the moment. And being in the moment means fully taking in challenging times and good times.
Back to the mat…next time you’re on it, notice the intensity of your focus. Is your breathing choppy and fast? Back off. Is your face tight or jaw clenched? Let it go. Where are you straining? Instead of zoning in on your fatigued muscles, can you relax through breath? A simple smile can invite ease and fun into the moment. The point is stay focused as you move and tune into your intention for unrolling your mat in the first place. My guess is your not practicing yoga to create more stress. Lighten up and have some “focused fun!”