As I continue to go down this path with this new yoga practice I’ve started, I’ve come to realize I have one major struggle: I lack the ability to focus.
Even as I am in the room, I am constantly looking around and checking out other people, and never really in tune with my body. I have no focus. Even when I am supposed to close my eyes and look inward, my eyes pop open and I’m looking all around.
I think there are a few reasons why this is happening. First, I’m very new to this, and my lack of confidence with the moves and what they look like and how I should be doing them is the most dominant feeling I have right now. I’m constantly checking on others to see how their bodies look, what position they are in, and what on earth these crazy words mean. Second, I know that one of my biggest battles is what others think. It’s a problem that developed in my teenage years (cliche, but I think from being bullied so much about my looks) and I am always very worried that I stand out or that people are noticing me in a way that isn’t positive. Lastly, I think that I just don’t know how to let go yet, and even find that inner focus. My life since my feet hit the ground has been constant movement, never stopping, no pauses, and work is the same way, and life, and… I don’t know how to stop, slow down, breathe, and do that looking inward thing.
So, these are the three things I need to focus on. They say before we start every time that I am supposed to find something to dedicate my practice to. The last few times, it’s been dedicating it to making it through the entire thing without passing out. Now that I’ve gone about three or four times, I think it is fair to say that I have developed that strength. I think now is the time to be switching to focus.
I also think that part of my practice suffers because my mind thinks that my body can do more than it really can. I used to be really flexible and able to pop into poses and just do crazy things with my body. Now 25 isn’t old by any means, but my 16 year old athletic body was far more limber. I think that the other part of me needs to back off, and let my body learn the moves before I start pushing myself. It’s a character flaw for sure; I am always pushing myself to places that I think I should be, and pushing myself toward things I think I should be doing. In the words of Mrs. Norbury, “I’m a pusher.” But I think my body really can’t do it.
And you should see some of these people. Their bodies do amazing things. I think that’s part of the reason I can’t focus. They are beautiful the way their bodies move and the things they can do. They know when to challenge themselves in a pose, and when to stick with the group. They have this ability to know how to wait and not rush themselves through something. When the instructor says stop, I pop out of the pose like a jack-rabbit. These people are fluid and beautiful and look so relaxed. And this I know will come with time, but they are memorizing to watch.
Still, I feel amazing when it’s over. Especially today. The soreness is gone (for now) and my skin feels great. I feel lighter, and a little stronger. I am loving the flow yoga, and looking forward to finding focus in the future.