I often start my yoga classes asking for any requests or areas of focus. Just to get an idea of where people are. I was doing a training recently for working with firefighters and PTSD. I do teach in group studios but also with those in rehabs as well in corporate spaces. The training suggested to ask ‘where do you notice any healing happening’ and I like this a lot. I think we can focus on the glass half empty too much. Often people are quick to tell me about the areas bothering them only, which I do need to know for sure. But when we hyper focus in on the painful area only, that is when we start to feel that is all we are.
So I’m going to start asking this question and how it helps. I have also found myself doing less focus on specific areas of the body. Fact is it has always bothered me to think of a pose as a hip, shoulder or other body part. We are using it all. Instead of telling the student where to focus I want to encourage them to feel it. Notice it. Where do you feel the healing happening? “If you aren’t using your whole body here – ask yourself why not”.
I am seeing that so many people come to yoga but really aren’t engaging everything. So their habit is just supported by pushing into the same area they are familiar with. Often using one side of the body more than the other; letting the joint support all the weight. Once I can get them to pause, move slowly and use their muscles all over their body they seem to understand themselves more.
But at the same time I hate too focus so much just on the mechanics. There is a magic that is there that is lost when all we do is focus on what we can see. Feeling the living breathing pose. Feeling it just as it is right now – imperfect and lovely!
May you spend some time today enjoying just where you are right now in the present moment. Feel where the healing is within you.