Yoga class V
To some extent, we all respond to our environment, most of us relax by relative degrees.
This relaxation is of fundamental importance in the practice of yoga. It is not a kind of laziness and certainly it is not a loss of focus, rather that what we focus, what we bring to bear in a more intense or gathered way onto our practice, is calmness. Many of us focus in yoga but what is it that we focus on? Sometimes it is restlessness or anxiety, other times it might be hostility or aggression, we need to be aware that these feelings start as small seeds on the inside, and a subtle feeling of aggression or violence (Himsa) internally is the germinal beginnings of the more overt feelings that we see in our self and the world around us.
It is important to understand these words correctly, one is not required to oppose internal aggression or anxiety, but to become awake to them, this is the point of this expression ‘relax’. Relax signifies the spaciousness that is a hall mark of awareness and an essential ingredient of it. The relaxed mind is not grasping or reaching for that which is not manifest, and so it can accept the sensations of now. Acceptance is a term that also needs some qualification it does not mean letting ourselves get caught up in or pulled along by every experience we have internally, it is quite the opposite. When we do not accept our feelings then they can tend to hold us as unconscious prisoners or we lock in for a fight, a head to head, when the only useful way to resolve a conflict is negotiation. This class is aimed then at helping the development of this kind of focus. So as you practice and bring your attention onto your experience ask yourself what is it that I am focusing is it or is it anxiety, aggression or calm, or what is it?