Art of Attention

By Elena Brower, June, 2011

Consistent practitioner or not, your yoga can provide you with access to your most valuable creative potential: your ability to pay attention.

This summer I’m exploring the energy vortices in my body known as the Chakras, and I am looking forward to my sharing my understanding with the community at Yoga Shanti. Whatever your current focus, the amount of understanding you glean from any endeavour correlates directly to your level of attentiveness. Period. Pay attention; you’re listening. When you listen, you learn. When you’re learning, life is way more interesting and inspiring, and there is more love in your environment. Would you like some of that?

Proposal: choose one aspect of your daily life that is consistently frustrating. Kids, spouse, some glitch in the routine, work, something.

For one week, keep a record of your lack of attention in that situation (yes I said yours, not someone else’s, I promise this is the fastest way to clearing this frustration). Watch for the way(s) in which you’re tuning out, closing yourself off in some small way, or otherwise not granting your full attention to the moment. Get out your sense of humour; it’s amazing to see how we readily we invite confusion towards us. Confusion isn’t some strange force in our lives that we haven’t invited; we’ve brought it to our lives. Which means we can also usher it out with our most refined art of attention.

So the record of your inattention should be thorough. Include dates, times, places, and make it funny! Describe your lack of presence so you can start to befriend this aspect of yourself; it’s likely been a useful coping mechanism for you, until now. Ultimately this is your route to blame-free living, super healthy, plump cells, and a truly happy family. Be the example. You must go first, and please, no complaining that nobody-else-is-doing-it-so-why-should-you. You chose yourself to practice yoga and grow your elegance – YOU GO FIRST.

Elena Brower

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