The sixth stage of ashtanga is dharana meaning "concentration." This is particularly concentrating on one focus without letting our busy minds take over. Practicing dharana may be extremely challenging for people. As a society we are told that we must be the most productive human being in order to gain favor and success of the world. We also glorify multi-tasking because of this.
In yoga, dharana can be many things: relaxing a certain area of the body that holds tension, using your drishti in order to stabilize a pose, connecting to the pose at hand without anticipation for the next, etc. The most important aspect of dharana in yoga is focusing your consciousness fully on your practice. This means forgetting about the "To-Do" list and letting go of a situation that may have happened earlier in the day. Dharana is about being present.
When balancing poses come in the sequence of a class and everyone starts to wobble, there is one thing I always say that helps me when I am wobbling in yoga and in life: "when we fix our eyes on one goal, we can be fully balanced." We fix our eyes on a non-moving point in the studio or room to become balanced, but what does this have to say about our life? We will wobble, fall, crash-and-burn if we have our eyes fixed on the wrong thing.
We must fix our eyes on Christ to obtain balance in our lives.
Our full focus must remain on living the example of Christ in the world. Our lives are meant to glorify and honor God, and even our actions should be revolved around fulfilling His will for our lives. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, "And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." Living your life according to God's will, using Christ's example as our goal gives us the balance to gleefully float through life no matter what obstacles pass to and from in our sights.
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Peace and Namaste,