Concentrate on Arm Balances

Power yoga is intended to leave you feeling invigorated, confident and strong.  Wherever you’ve come from or whatever you’ve been doing, spending an hour on your mat will bring your focus to the present moment.

Dharana is a state of concentration. It is the sixth of eight limbs of ashtanga yoga and means “hold steady,” “single focus” or “concentration.” It is a state of mind, and in terms of productivity in your life off the mat, it sounds like a good place to be! To be able to focus and concentrate on a specific task for a period of time will certainly help you achieve your personal and professional goals. The trouble is, there are so many distractions afoot that concentrating on a task can be more challenging than the task itself.

Enter Power Yoga.

Power yoga, while not offering a life-changing prophecy, does create a time (about an hour) where your focus will be entirely on the practice of yoga. Whether you consciously decide to focus on the moment or not, it is unlikely that your mind will be able to focus on much other than the task at hand when that task is a handstand, or an arm balance, or an upside down dog.

Power yoga might not change your life. But then again, it just might. And that change may be in the most unexpected way. Whatever your reason for stepping on to your mat, I aim to help you step off your mat feeling strong, focused and prepared to tackle the next challenge. By leading you though a challenging sequence of poses, I hope to create a yoga practice where your focus is on the present moment. I hope that you can bring that focus with you off the mat to cultivate productivity.

This week, we’re practicing astravakasana (eight-angle pose). We’ll progress to this arm balance with a flowing warmup and a series of poses designed to lengthen the psoas (outer hip), stretch the shoulders and strengthen the core. Eight-angle pose provides a chance for everyone to have a laugh and to challenge themselves to balance on their hands. Not everyone will be able to fly into the pose, but everyone’s concentration will be completely on the act of attempting the pose and that dharana, that steady focus, is the place where I hope everyone will end up.

Join me for Power Yoga on Monday/Wednesday at 7pm and Tuesday at noon at Taiga Yoga Studio. We will let go of distractions, concentrate completely on the tasks at hand, and maybe fly into new poses.

Kate Covello teaches power yoga inspired by the Baptiste Journey Into Power sequence. Her current goal is to focus on tasks at work for 30 minutes at a time, and refrain from getting distracted by social media! She also plans to hold a handstand for ten breaths in the very near future.

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