Got a minute...or 3?

Got a minute...or 3?

Switching On for a Sharper Mind

You may decide to read this blog, grab the headline, have a quick scan and move on to the next thing. The mind gets bored very quickly. It is the nature of the mind to jump from idea to idea.

Try this now: Think of a food you love, use all your senses to focus your mind - can you feel the physical response of your mouth watering? Notice how a simple thought can have a direct physical effect. Now imagine that your lungs are in your head. Bring your full focus to your brain. Visualise breathing in and out of your brain. Use long exhales to remove unwanted thoughts. Use inhales to bring space and clarity into your brain. Sharpen your focus like a laser for 3 minutes. Carry on when you need clarity throughout the day.

I think of the mind like a lightbulb, scattered thoughts jumping around and bouncing off surfaces in all directions. Imagine the mind like a laser beam sharpening its light at one point ahead of you - how much more powerful than a lightbulb.

Using mental one-pointed focus is an ancient yogic practice. The 2nd century Indian Sage Patanjali set out the eight limbs of yoga. ‘Dharana’ the sixth limb, means concentrating the mind, or moving towards one-pointed focus. Essentially, Patanjali’s yoga sutras are a guide on how to live well, and how to choose clarity and remove mental agitation. How to take the stillness and focus we discover on our yoga mat, out into our lives.

I have been working with thee practices of switching on, switching off, un-doing and generally focusing on the power of the nervous system to keep us balanced. I have devised some workshops starting this week in north London - details here . Yoga postures, breathing, sense withdrawal and one-pointed focus sharpen the mind, concentrate attention...It is simple but it takes practice. Its important to remember that if your thoughts can be as powerful as a laser, you need to choose carefully where you place your focus. If you are busy thinking about how you compare to the other people in your yoga class, your thoughts will stay very shallow, very focused on judgement of yourself and others. If you place your focus inside - on the subtle energy in your body and become aware of held tension, the chances are you may have a deeper experience, find freedom in the body, and find out more about your self.

When I take groups to India for yoga holidays, we have nine days away from everyday life in the most beautiful natural surroundings with wide horizons and clear water. Yoga practices are designed to focus on nourishing the body, mind and spirit, to rediscover the pure joy of feeling vital and alive...and to me, that's worth focusing on like a laser.

‘Judy's yoga holiday in Kerala was the most profoundly restorative experience for mind and body - mirrored and enhanced by the tranquility of our setting from each sunrise to sunset.’ Gill Evans

More details on Winter Sun Yoga holidays 2014 at

Email or call Judy Hirsh on 07956 375607.