A lot of my yoga is home practice. I teach regularly, as well, but that is not practicing, even when I get to do some asanas with the group. Home practice can be a struggle -- squeezing it in during an ever-shrinking nap time, closing my eyes to the messes here and there that beg for my attention, and turning a deaf ear on the phone. Home practice is, in many ways, the real essence of yoga -- focusing, listening to your inner teacher, looking within.
But for me, it is sometimes hard to balance that soft-focused inner gaze with pushing myself. So today, I went back to class with one of my teachers. I'm not sure it was harder, per se, than one of my home practices, but I paid different, more attention to things. Hearing someone else's cues, working them through my body, was a treat. Never mind that I didn't hear a kid for 90+ minutes -- that in and of itself is a huge shift -- but today listening to an outer teacher gave me fresh perspective.
Where was my mind? Instead of thinking about the sequence, which I would do if I were practicing by myself, I was at the four corners of my feet, my thigh bones moving back and my shin bones moving forward ever so slightly -- heart center moving forward -- hips relaxing into alignment -- to so many places was my attention moved. It makes me look even more forward to my next home practice and finding those same places on my own.