Most poses in our yoga classes are held for 5 inhalations/exhalations. Depending on the pose, I’ll either be:
– catching my breath after a particularly exhausting sequence
– desperate to move out of the pose because I’m in agony
In both cases, I’m either thinking about what came before (“that was hard work, now I can rest”) or what will come after (“this hurrrrrts! I want to get out of this pose and rest!).
But I’m gradually learning to focus my mind on the pose I’m in. I have been moving into a pose, and then allowing my thoughts to wander until it’s time to move again. Now, I’m trying to concentrate on improving the pose with every breathe… go deeper, bend lower, push harder, reach higher, contract and tighten and pull in and draw down — all these clichés that get thrown at us during the practice, they actually all mean the same thing really: don’t get complacent, don’t let go, don’t drift off.
Which come to think of it sounds very far from the contemplative, meditative concepts usually associated with yoga. But I suppose you need to focus, to be in the moment, in order to meditate…