Declutter the Mind: Dharana Learning to How to Concentrate

Yoga is not an exit strategy or disconnection it is an entrance.

We use the poses to declutter the mind. And once we remove the clutter that has been molding our physical health, emotional stability, and mental sanity we can clearly set our course for being free from pain and suffering. This is why I don’t want anything we do in yoga class to be more distracting than how you live outside of class.

In our Western culture concentration is not something that is taught at a young age. We are given tv and video games and all sorts of ways to distract ourselves. But we aren’t taught ways to remove the clutter and distraction. Consequently most of us have not learned how to focus the mind to be present. Think about it: Who taught you how to concentrate?

As adults, our lives often involve a sense of rush that make it easy to get distracted by living a fast pace lifestyle. If anything, we learn from childhood to adulthood “how to be distracted”. And eventually we get really good at it.

Learning to concentrate is the key to reducing mental clutter because if we don’t our internal self-dialogue will distract us again and again. The ego-self loves to distract us from our bigger PURPOSE (dharma).

The mind is like a beam of light. However there is a difference between the first and second.

1. A beam such as a flashlight. This starts at a single point and grows wider as it leaves the source.

2. A beam of light like a laser (unlike the flashlight which starts at a small point and diffuses and gets bigger as it travels outward) the laser is focused light. It keeps moving inward toward a specific point and thus maintains its strength and focus.

When we are not distracted we are like the laser.

When we are distracted we are like the flashlight creating drama and over-exaggeration wherever we go.

DISTRACTED ENERGY – drains us

UNDISTRACTED ENERGY – energizes us

“DHARANA which means CONCENTRATION brings order to jumbled thoughts and judgements that clutter the conscious and unconscious mind. It’s like looking at a very messy and disorganzied room intitially there is the temptation to sit in a state of overwhelm and ignore the chore of organizing. But when you focus and you put things in place one at a time, the job gets done quickly and effectively.

Cleaning out the mind is not different. The task can be daunting but when we concentrate and focus the works moves swiftly. Without that deep level of concentration, however, it’s unlikely that much will change.”

Using yoga to learn the ways of dharana, concentration, allows us to make healthier choices and from that deep place of undistracted energy we can change our lives. Love yourself, love your day, love your life! Silvia

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