Yesterday I stood in front of the mirror after the shower. I put some lotion on my face, but I wanted to make this little routine to a conscious act. I observed myself how I was doing it. Observing myself changed already how I usually do it. I used both hands to massage the white lotion in my face instead of one. This cosmetic product makes my face look fresh. This little face massage relaxes the face. I started with my cheeks. Then the tips of the hands moved to front via the root of my nose. The finger moved to the sides. I always move my fingers upwards, hahaha. My neck got the rest of the lotion. Then a bit of make-up.......and so on.
Back to observation. To observe oneself can be enough to initiate a change. Most of the time we're sleepwalking. Life becomes another quality when I observe consciously.
As soon as I draw my attention to my breath, it becomes deeper. I just draw my attention to my sitting position and at once I lengthened the spine to sit more upright.
What is true for tiny little activities is also true for the yoga practice. To observe is a skill.
In Ashstanga yoga we've some guidelines:
- Is the breath deep and even?
- Is the posture correct?
- Do I know where to look at, how is my drishti?
- When I practice primary I also want to follow the correct vinyasa count.
Today I practiced at home. Sharath guided me through the beginning and the end. The middle part of the sandwich was according to my own rhythm. I prefer full vinyasa and I want to stay a bit longer in those asanas that are demanding.
It is harder and requires much more self-discipline when practicing alone. It's doable.
It helps to get better in observing when one wants to write down a habit in great detail.
Every action can be observed: the shower in the morning, how one eats or walks, how one is dressing or talking. It's also a concentration exercise how long one is able to do it. To start with short sequences is helpful. To get better in observation is an exercise for the mind.
Life becomes more intensive when practicing it.
Everybody who is writing or who takes picture is good adviced to become good at that skill.
For yogis/yoginis it's helpful, too.