Finding Our Focus
What do you use to find your focus? For me the focus is on the breath as I practice yoga. While teaching yoga it is harder to focus on my own breath as I am giving verbal instructions throughout the practice. I find that when I take another yoga teachers class I am able to focus on deeper breathing and therefore deepening my own asana practice, which is the physical aspect of yoga. When I teach I am giving verbal cues to breathe and not able to practice ujjayi pranayama (victorious breath) to it's fullest. There are many types of pranayama techniques depending on the type of physical yoga that you are practicing.
Of course there are other ways to find focus when practicing yoga: for balance, try finding a drishti (a focused gaze, or focal point), usually something that is not moving. This focused gaze will help you find your center of balance and more stability in the pose. In meditation there is the stilling of the chitta vritti (mind clutter), calming the chatter of the mind. Try focusing your thoughts on a single word or phrase. When the mind wanders off, bring the focus back to your mantra. It also helps in meditation to bring the focus to the breath and the gentle movements of the body as you breathe. This focus of the mind will help you find a more peaceful self.
Once we begin to find more focus on the breath, the gaze, and the mind in our yoga practice we will be able to use these techniques in our daily life and in challenging situations.