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images-3Dharana is the 6th limb of yoga. It means concentration, or focus. Dharana is a large piece of creating a deeper relationship with your yoga practice. Yoga can be described as a practice in cultivating awareness. The deeper your ability to focus, the more awareness you gain. We practice Dharana as a way to work towards meditation, or Dhyana. Buy learning how to focus on one point you can quiet the chatter in the mind and allow you to become aware of deeper levels of conciseness. Any point of focus can work, just something for your mind to hold on to. What we focus on grows, so be mindful of where your consciousness sits. On our mats mindfulness gives the physical practices more depth. Taking the postures from exercises to mini-meditations, from calisthenics to prayer.

 “It is through your body that you realize you are a spark of divinity.” ― B.K.S. Iyengar

Learning how to focus your attention can have great benefits in life as well. Immediate, small,  moments of clear focus can help us make decisions. We can stay in the present instead of thinking of the past or the future. Prolonged points of focus become our goals and our dreams. Being able to hold something in your mind through an entire asana practice can be challenging but it is a great place to start practicing Dharana. If you want to increase you ability to focus you could  choose and intention or a focus for a class or even the day. Notice how often your mind wanders off; I need water, what time is it? Did I close the gate? What is that person next to me up to? Maybe you also notice how often this focus comes to mind throughout the practice and the rest of the day. You may find that you get to experience things in a different way when you are able to give them your full attention. Practicing Dharana gives us a different piece of the mind to utilize. It can be a great tool on our path towards enlightenment or self awareness.  ~love and light Robin

 “Concentration is the secret of strength.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

 “For he who has no tranquility there is no concentration.” -Bhagavad Gita

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