General Question

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

What are you thinking about when you are doing yoga?

Asked by The_Compassionate_Heretic (14596points) April 4th, 2009 from iPhone
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

34 Answers

wundayatta's avatar

I’m focusing on my body, and the pose, and how to do the pose properly, and how to make my muscles stretch as much as possible, and how long I can hold the pose, and whether it is working for me. Sometimes, if the instructor is a pretty young woman, then I’m also thinking about her, and relishing the chance to legitimately stare at someone with such a nice body.

asow92's avatar

I usually just concentrate on my breathing, but I like to think about nature.

nikipedia's avatar

I’m not gonna lie, I spend a lot of time thinking about why the things they’re saying are garbage. “Now you’re compressing your gall bladder, which might make you feel a great deal of anger…”

chyna's avatar

@nikipedia I’m with you on that…

ru2bz46's avatar

Breath, until I get really strained. Then I’m thinking about how to get back to thinking about breath. As long as I’m “working”, I don’t have a problem with my mind wandering. It’s the resting poses that get me every time. Then I often think about how hot my teacher is, or whether I paid my bills. For the most part, yoga is so great because you get those couple hours of not thinking.

asmonet's avatar

I tend to tune the moronic teacher out.

If I can’t shut myself up in my head, I focus on remembering the sound of the waves when the beaches were deserted at night when I was a kid. :)

ru2bz46's avatar

@asmonet @chyna and @nikipedia Where do you practice, in a yoga studio, or at the gym?

chyna's avatar

I go to the gym.

ru2bz46's avatar

@chyna Try a real yoga studio with a trained teacher. It’s one of the best things I’ve done for myself.

chyna's avatar

I live in a small rural area that only has a YMCA and Zoomba classes that meet over top of the fire department.

laurenigula's avatar

My mind tends to wander, when I catch myself I think of my blood flowing directly to my muscles and the air expanding in and out of me.

Judi's avatar

Why did I want to do this again?

ru2bz46's avatar

@Judi Ha! It gets better! Early on, I remember being guided into a pose in which I thought the top of my thigh was about to tear off. About that time, my teacher said, ”...and that stretch should feel really good…”. I asked her when that was supposed to happen.

MissAusten's avatar

I usually end up wondering why the Wii Fit yoga guy’s mouth doesn’t move when he talks.

ru2bz46's avatar

@chyna Bummer, but that’s better than nothing. Rodney Yee makes some good videos, and my favorite to date is Rusty Wells. I took a couple of his workshops when he came to my town, and he does good videos, too. He’s fantastic.

nikipedia's avatar

@ru2bz46: I used to go to a fantastic studio in San Fracisco, but since moving I haven’t really taken it up again.

kevbo's avatar

I think about going deeper into the pose with every exhale, how much holding down dog sucks, and reminders to soften my face.

ru2bz46's avatar

@nikipedia Rusty Wells is based in San Francisco. My favorite teachers are all his students. If that’s the studio you got to go to, I feel sorry for your loss. After taking his workshops, I plan on going to SF whenever I can. Do yourself a favor and look for a studio near you, and try different teachers until you find one that’s a good match for you. At the very least, get a good video and try it at home. You have experience, so you can probably pick it up from video easily. The hardest part is working through the pain until you notice the benefits. Vinyasa (flow) seems to give the fastest results, and is my favorite.

ru2bz46's avatar

@kevbo I found a studio on Kaua’i last month while on vacation because I couldn’t stand to go a week without. Bhavani Maki started each class with a five minute (timed) down dog. It was excruciatingly blissful.

VzzBzz's avatar

… “if my best friend can do this then damnit, so can I… I am not weak minded, I am not weak willed, I am not afraid of change… this feels good (sure it does)... my foot really does belong in that place, yes”

3or4monsters's avatar

“Someday, I will make a great ninja….”

cak's avatar

I just started to go back to a studio. I realized I can’t listen to the woman that leads my class. She has the highest pitched voice that I’ve ever heard. It’s almost unnatural. I believe I will be on the quest to find a new studio. I tune her out and just focus on the moves.

I also try to not listen some of the ridiculous things they say.

casheroo's avatar

i try to concentrate on my breathing, and not think of anything at all.
i usually am making a list in my head of what i have to get done, though.

ru2bz46's avatar

@cak What kinds of ridiculous things? @nikipedia and @asmonet mentioned that, too. My teachers don’t say anything I would deem ridiculous…

Judi's avatar

I don’t say the OM and avoid any of the spiritual stuff. Is that what you guys are talking about?

cak's avatar

@ru2bz46 – She seems to follow this textbook list of key phrases, the most overused by her is, “feel the energy of terra firma.” If she tells me to breathe through my eyes one more time I’m going to fall over laughing.

I love yoga, I don’t do it for the side of getting in touch with my spiritual self. I do it for the physical benefits. Between yoga and pilates, I get the best workouts. I prefer a quiet, tranquil setting and not one that is over talked by someone leading a class. Some instructors have it, some don’t. She doesn’t, at least for me. She’s new in the studio, the lady that used to instruct this class is on bed rest for the remainder of her pregnancy. Totally different way about her.

aviona's avatar

I try to focus on my body and my breathing, but tend to get sidetracked in the past or future… :/

ru2bz46's avatar

OK, I’m starting to understand @cak and @Judi. My teachers don’t get into the spiritual stuff much. When they say anything, it is always qualified as generic, or they even qualify it in a way that I think most atheists would approve of. Also, depending on the studio at which they’re teaching that day, they may or may not do any chanting (OM, etc.); usually they do not.

It’s funny because their main teacher, Rusty Wells, teaches Bhakti yoga which by definition is heavily spiritual. His classes involve a lot of chanting at the beginning and end, but before going into it, he qualifies it. He explains that it is spirituality and not religion and explains the differences for those who do not know. He explains the meaning behind the Sanskrit phrases and makes them non-threatening to people of various religions or those without faith. I am spiritual, but not religious (though I was raised Catholic). My Catholic upbringing always tweaks my head when I hear any chanting, but I can go with it now. I think finding the right teacher is a big part of anything. I’m lucky to have such an abundance here.

Darwin's avatar

I think about breathing, pain, and not falling over and making a fool of myself.

I am not very good at yoga. I am much better at weight-lifting and running until I puke.

ru2bz46's avatar

@Darwin I understand where you’re coming from. I am like that, too by nature, but yoga has taught me to let go (a little). In the vinyasa-style, there is a lot more action that traditional styles, so it is more suited to me. It took me a year to even drop out of a pose before I fell out of it. I feel the need to push myself to exhaustion, but yoga is about letting go as much as striving for more. The right teacher can help you find that balance. Though I still haven’t found the balance, I know what to look for, now. Also, there’s really no concept of being “good at yoga”. It is all personal and about what you can do on any given day. Some days, I can hold a down dog for five minutes, and some days, I want to curl into a ball after 30 seconds…and it’s always my personal best on that given day.

dynamicduo's avatar

I try to think about nothing. I usually end up thinking about my breathing or positioning.

hearkat's avatar

As out of shape as I have been, I have mostly been focused on not falling over an making a complete idiot of myself! But as I have improved my fitness, I am now focusing on the pose and my breath… getting the posture and positioning as close as I can to how it is meant to be, and improving over the previous time that I did that same posture… whether it means holding my balance longer, reaching my leg higher, or bending deeper into a stretch.

I also go to a gym and there are several Yoga instructors and each is so different. I like to mix it up between their different styles, because they all challenge me indifferent ways.

EmilyBearclaw's avatar

i try and listen to the instructor. i think about how lame it would be to get psyched out by yoga, that i am strong and i can do anything. i think about my breathing. i smile. @kevbo, i try to soften my face too. :) i try to remember the intention i set at the beginning of class – peace or honesty or strength, whatever. if none of those work, i’ve got plan b -

i think about how good i’ll look naked if i keep this up. holla!

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