Energy Follows Attention

Happy April, Yogis!

Spring has finally arrived, and with it comes a sense of renewal and rejuvenation. As we embrace the change of season, it’s natural to feel a lightening of our burdens, an openness in our minds, and a lifting of our spirits. Some of us may even find ourselves with a spring in our steps, eagerly embracing the warmth and beauty of the world around us. But why do some people seem to revel in the joys of spring, while others remain unaffected?

Let’s turn to one of yoga’s fundamental teachings to shed some light on this question: the concept that energy follows attention. According to the sixth limb of Ashtanga yoga, Dharana, whatever we focus our attention on becomes our experience of life. When we concentrate on one thing, distractions fade, allowing us to fully immerse ourselves in the present moment.

To illustrate this principle, let’s consider a few familiar examples. Remember the euphoria of falling in love, when everything seemed to sparkle with beauty? In that moment, our attention was captivated by the joy of love, and our energy naturally flowed toward it. Similarly, when we purchase a new car, suddenly we start noticing the same make and model everywhere. Our attention is like a spotlight, illuminating whatever we focus on and shaping our perception of reality.

So, why do some of us find ourselves swept up in Spring Fever? Perhaps it’s because our attention is drawn to the simple pleasures of the season: the melodious chirping of birds, the vibrant colors of blooming flowers, or the gentle caress of a warm breeze. By directing our focus towards these delights, we invite positive energy into our lives, enhancing our sense of well-being.

Ready to delve deeper into this concept? For those who are committed to self-discovery, the practice of Dharana is typically cultivated through seated meditation. By fixating our attention on a single point, such as a candle flame or the sound of “Aum,” we learn to quiet the mind and cultivate inner stillness. However, mastering this practice is no easy feat; it requires patience, perseverance, and a willingness to confront the restless nature of the mind.

If you’re new to meditation, don’t be discouraged by the initial challenges. Just like training a playful puppy to walk on a leash, it takes time and practice to rein in the wandering mind. Consider seeking guidance from a yoga studio, ashram, or spiritual center, where you can receive support and instruction on your journey towards mental discipline. Alternatively, spending time in nature can also be incredibly grounding and conducive to inner peace.

So, as we welcome spring, I invite you to reflect on where your attention has been focused. Are there areas of your life that could benefit from a shift in energy? By consciously redirecting your attention towards positivity and mindfulness, you can unlock the transformative power of Dharana and experience profound growth on your yoga journey.

Wishing you a joyful and rejuvenating spring season ahead!