February is marked by three major events: The Chinese New Year, Valentine’s Day, and the Carnival. It is also the dead of winter in Europe, featuring cold weather, winter sales, and deals on travel. No matter why you decide to travel in February, there are plenty of places to celebrate love, whether you prefer a colder or warmer climate.
In this, the second of a 10 part series on the elements of the practice, the value and meaning of drawing attention inwards will be scrutinized. Directing attention inwards is an act of letting go of matters that occupy the mind. From this point onward the ability to concentrate is achieved leading to meditation. This is attempted not just when meditating but also during yoga postures. Maintaining such a state during yoga sessions leads to deeper practices. Beginners see the logic, yet the process of application is complicated. The postures are new. Grasping yoga for the first time is like a child learning to walk. Concentration on every step is paramount. It is not long till the steps taken are void of effort and thought. Ideal is a mind that is not occupied by thought and emotion and so kept open to the world.
Sri Tirumalai Krishnamacharya the father of modern yoga says, "Teach what is appropriate for an individual". Likewise a yoga student must learn to practice what is appropriate. Learning the appropriate practice is understood through a careful study of yoga science along with a direct experience of practicing over long periods. Comprehending what postures to practice for various conditions of concern from back pains to high blood pressure are just some of many challenges faced by practitioners. Prior to acquiring yogic knowledge a committed beginner will inevitably tap into the 10 elements an advanced practitioner knows to be mindful of.
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