Week of 6/17 – Focus on one detail

“Let’s eat, Grandpa!”

“Let’s eat Grandpa!”

Sometimes the smallest detail can make a huge difference.

And sometimes, when we feel overwhelmed by the big picture, focusing on one small detail can keep us sane.

This week in class, we focused on the hands. Often when I am teaching, I see some really weird stuff going on in the hands; torquing and twisting at the wrists, or fingers that are limp and unengaged. 

I totally understand; there is often so much to think about otherwise in a pose, that the hands are forgotten. Or, sometimes the mind is simply elsewhere, and the hands reflect this.

But, if you believe the idea of mudras, then what happens in the hands is super important. Similar to the idea of reflexology in the feet, different areas in the hands are associated with different areas in the brain. The way we position the hands can stimulate different areas and create a specific energy circuit. 

For example, one idea is that separating the fingers in a pose helps expend excess energy.

And, keeping the fingers together helps conserve energy.

Play with this the next time you are rocking a Trikonasa or Warrior II.

The next time you find yourself in a complicated arm balance (or attempting one), play with the energy in the fingers. Are they widespread and active?

Maybe a little clawing action will make you feel a little more ferocious about the whole thing.

Perhaps the next time you find yourself on the mat, set an intention to focus on one thing in every pose. It could be the hands, but it also could be the feet, or the tilt of the hips, or the feeling in your neck. Experiment with shifts in position, and how those shifts affect the entire pose. don’t worry about every little alignment issue; keep the pose safe and comfortable, but focus primarily on that one thing.

Just like most of what we do on our mats, the most important thing is how this moment mirrors our lives off the mat. And, sometimes, when it feels like there is just too much going on, and life seems overwhelming, stop and think: is there one small detail that I can focus on right now, that might make a difference? I may not be able to fix everything, but maybe just one thing can be enhanced, and the positive effect may just flow into everything.

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