Most of us are practising Yoga for more reasons than the right to wear cool gear and post selfies of our body folded into weird shapes while we stand on our ear tip. We want to focus our Mind, (re)vitalize our Body and enlighten our Spirit (I did say MOST of us, didn't I?)
In spite of these lofty ideals we have all experienced those days when you roll out your yoga mat, jump into the flow and an hour later you have reorganised your diary, planned a baby shower, analysed your next project at work, and during relaxation/meditation you have worked through that argument with your partner/BFF/Boss. The ultimate multitasking but do you feel refreshed, energised and relaxed? How do we keep our minds in the now and the outside world our of our practice?

Focus on my mat to bring focus to my daily life
For a few months now, I have been doing Mindfulness yoga and Vipassana meditation (also called Insight Meditation) and true as bob, during meditation, I have been getting some insights. One of these is that I have become a sort of parallel-liver: always doing one thing while thinking about something completely different. I need to focus on my yoga because that will help me to focus more in daily life.

Here is how I have found a way to focus and really be here now:


3 Breaths for Focus:
Stand on your mat and take 3 long, slow, deep breaths, in through your nose, out through your mouth.  As you breathe, focus on Mind, Body, and Spirit in turn. Each breath is tied to one of those 3 aspects of us that we are focussing on. Each flow is done 3 times, giving the flow the chance to deepen your movements and make them count. Each breath will deepen your asana so that you can do the maximum that you are able to do and get the maximum of benefit from your practice.

Step1: I think Mind. I breathe into my mind. As I breathe deeply, slowly, in and out, my mind moves me through the flow or into the asana. I picture the desired benefits of the movement or pose.

Step 2:  I think Body. I breathe into my body. As I breathe deeply, slowly, in and out, I listen to my body: does it need adjustment, do I need to increase or decrease pressure? There is compassion and love and pride for my body.
Step 3:  I think Spirit. I breathe into my spirit. As I breathe slowly, deeply, in and out, my spirit rejoices in the flow, in the pose, in the gratitude to be doing this practice. As I breathe Spirit I feel my pose intensify: my back straightens, my chest expands and a glow suffuses my mind, body, and spirit.

Are you feeling good in this asana or flow? Take another 3 Mind, Body and Spirit breaths. Still happy? Take another 3: the benefits of this state of focus are endless.

The relaxation is another moment to discover your mind has wandered off and left your body and spirit lost and unsettled. As you lie down, as you move through your body scan, hold on to your 3 breaths: my mind has laid me down here and is waiting to take over but Breath 2 is there: my body is here, where are the sore, tired, knotted bits, what am I feeling under my body, above my body, and around my body?
Breath 3 rejoices in the relaxation and lets Breath 1 and 2 come and go and come and go.

When your timer goes, or your teacher tells you to start easing into the day you will find that you have an intensely satisfying workout of mind, body, and spirit. The focus will go with you into the day: baby shower, work project and diary organised and boss, partner and BFF sorted...