Friday, October 15, 2021

Exploring Dharana: The Sixth Limb of Yoga


Live Be Yoga Ambassador Cameron Allen practices a meditation to strengthen dharana. 

In Sanskrit, dharana means concentration, specifically on a single point of focus. 2020 has been a whirlwind of important events, each one fighting for our attention. Our smartphones have caused many of us to lose focus, while we mindlessly “doom scroll” through social media, amplifying our anxiety and sense of helplessness. In this fast-changing world, it is imperative to learn and constantly improve the skill of concentration. 

Cultivating Concentration Through Focus 

When we were young, our parents and teachers often told us “to focus.”

But did they ever actually teach us how?

For me, the answer is no, and I keep this front of mind while learning the practice of dharana. One of my teachers used this analogy when explaining dharana: lack of focus is like a light bulb while a laser pointer is dharana. A light bulb’s energy shoots out in many directions, while the laser pointer is concentrated and focused into one stream of energy. I’ve also heard it described as “tunnel vision,” where we only see the desired outcome, rendering all other things irrelevant.





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