One of the highest goals of yoga is the one-pointed mind - a mind that is quiet and undistracted, focused unmovingly on one thing. A one-pointed mind can filter the important information from the useless and is capable of great concentration and therefore great perceptiveness.
When practicing postures, a one-pointed mind can be elusive. The body has so many parts, each of which is flexing or extending uniquely, not to mention the breath and the movement between the postures.
The complexity of the physical practice makes it easy for the mind to be distracted and many-pointed. What is my foot doing? Is my leg straight? Is my spine correct? Is my breathing deep? Are my muscles tired or stretching? But we have the ability to make the mind one-pointed, even amidst such diverse bodily movements.
To do this, we need to practice the postures with intention and attention to detail. Much of our practice must be focused on the physical mechanics of the body - what limb is doing what, what muscle and what breath. We must practice with this detail often so that the postures become ingrained in our bodies.
When the postures are ingrained at least somewhat, we can begin to remove the mind from the execution of the posture. The body will do what it knows how to do and the mind can be still.
The mind becomes free to focus or meditate or be completely empty. Just don't let the mind wander or become distracted as that will defeat much of the purpose of the practice.
This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga