“Bring Your Attention To …”

So what does it mean when the yoga teacher says, “bring your attention to …” a part of your body?

Do this: hold your hand out over your lap, palm down. Make a loose fist but keep your index finger pointing straight.  Bend your index finger, and then straighten it out.  There, you just “brought your attention to …” your index finger.

When we say to bring your attention to a part of your body – your lower back, the side of your ribcage, your breath – we’re focusing the mind’s attention on that part, so that you, the student, can mindfully place, stretch, open, clench that body part.  It’s a way to let the student know that this body part, or this motion, or this breath, is something important to the pose.

Okay, you can lower your hand now.  Mindfully, of course.

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