Terre Pruitt's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘focus in class’

Bringing Focus Back

Posted by terrepruitt on June 9, 2015

About a month ago I was in a yoga class and afterwards there were a few people who were telling the person that was a couple of mats away from me how great her poses were.  They were going on about how beautiful she looked.  I felt bad.  I felt like an awful person for not even noticing how wonderful this fellow student was.  She was so wonderful that a few people came over to tell her.  Every class I have taken since then has me questioning that.  I started thinking I should be looking around and paying attention to other people’s poses.  I realized that I am really focused on myself when I am in a yoga class.  Sometimes I open my eyes and I am surprised there are other people in the class.  The last few classes I took I started looking around.  I started noticing what other people were doing.  I was thinking that I needed to be more attentive to the other students so I could pat them on the back when they did well.  But then I realized that looking around and watching what other people are doing is what I do when I teach.  When I take a class it is perfectly fine for me to let the students fade into the background.  When I am in a yoga class I NEED to be focused on me.

When I am instructing a class I am demonstrating a pose.  I am IN the pose, but I am not really DOING the pose.  I am not focused on the pose, I am focused on looking at the class.  I am focused on seeing if they are doing the pose.  I am thinking about how to gently guide them into the proper alignment.  I am thinking about what to say that will allow them to sense what they are doing.  Everyone says they want to be instructed on how to do it right, but no one wants to be the sole recipient of all the instruction.  So sometimes, general instructions is best.  I am thinking about all of that while I am in the poses.

At times I will step out of a pose to walk around the class to see the students posture from different angles.  I walk around to see if they are in alignment and to help someone with the pose.  So I am not really doing yoga.  I am not focusing on me, I am not focusing on my breath, I am not paying strict attention to sensation in the poses.

So when I am in a yoga class, I don’t look around.  I soften my gaze so I don’t really see my fellow classmates.  I allow myself to be the student and not look at others’ alignment.

I have been thinking about this for about a month now.  I was trying to figure out a post for today, when I came across “No Peeking!” and it reminded me of peeking around in a yoga class.  When I look around and pay too much attention to others when I am a student, I sometimes lose sense of what I am doing.  It could be that I see the person three over from me doing the pose “better than” me, so I try to go deeper (or higher . . . whatever the case may be) and then I am not listening to my body and what it needs at that moment.  No Peeking was about competitive swimming and how when you look around to see where you are in the race you move your head, which changes your body position, which changes the outcome of the race.  While yoga is not a race, when I look around whether the movement changes my pose or my thought process changes the pose, the outcome is adjusted.

Hmm.  I am going to keep that in mind.  And get back to my focus.  If I don’t complement your beautiful poses when we are in a yoga class, don’t take offense.  Now, Nia is entirely different.  While dancing you are tuned into your body, but there is also a sense of sharing and sometimes even stealing.  If you see someone doing something you want to try, have at it.

Are you completely focused in your yoga class?  Do you get motivated by looking at others?  Does looking at others distract you?

Posted in Yoga/PiYo/Pilates | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »