Sometimes I wonder what is the essence of my yoga teaching. I know that students come to my class looking for different outcomes and that is absolutely fine.
It seems that over the seven years that I have been teaching I have come to understand that 'awareness' is the key. Not only in yoga, but in all things. Awareness of how we sit, what we say, how we breathe, what and how we eat, what we choose to watch on TV, who we spend time with etc. This could also be described as 'mindful'.
In our yoga practise, we can use the breath to keep awareness in the body, that may be by using the ujayi breath, or as I call it misting the mirror breath, or by sensing the space between the shoulders or between the vertebrae or length in the spine. Whatever keeps the mind occupied in the body.
What this ultimately gives us in the ability to be 'in the moment' and that is a place where we can manage life well. When we are in the past or the future, neither of which we can control, then we can be stressed. It is impossible to know what the future will bring us. My understanding of quantum physiscs tells me that I get more of what I focus on. If I let anxiety take root in my mind, then I am stressing myself and am more likely to bring that negative outcome to me, or if you like, manifest it.
So we need to be careful what we focus on and bring our awareness back to the moment whenever we can. All it needs is a little practise.