“Every human has great potential. That can be developed through physical training, but most importantly, through the evolution of the mind and the spirit.”
“The Mind is the Motor for the Physical”
– Alfonso Cuaron
One of my favorite quotes from the movie Roma by Alfonso Cuaron, “The mind is the motor for the physical.”
The mind controls almost everything we do. Yoga and meditation teach us how to control the mind and not let errant thoughts control us.
There’s a scene in the film where several martial arts students are practicing their craft. On a hot, dry, and dusty field, their professor is facing the large group of physically strong young men and speaks these words of wisdom. ” Every human has great potential. That can be developed through physical training, but most importantly, through the evolution of the mind and the spirit. You can develop this potential but don’t expect a miracle. The only miracle resides within your own will. The mind is the motor for the physical.”
The professor then has one of his students blindfold him. He then precedes to demonstrate a yoga pose called tree, balancing on one leg. He holds the posture for several moments without movement. The students start mocking him, but the professor maintains his balance.
He instructs his students to do the same with their eyes closed. As they attempt to do tree pose, they wobble and lose their balance. They all have difficulty just beginning the posture. None of them are able to get into the pose at all. Their minds are too distracted.
Yoga develops and improves concentration. It teaches us how to relax with thoughts. Don’t buy into the myth that you can’t do yoga or meditation because you can’t concentrate. Yoga can rewire the brain into being more present and hold your concentration in the moment. Awareness is cultivated. You notice when the mind wanders, and you’re taught how to bring it back.
Yoga and meditation help us to respond with new habits rather than react with old ones. The brain is rewired to do almost anything, such as losing weight and keeping it off with new habits of eating.
In the video, we demonstrate the balancing pose tree. Your focus is at a still and neutral point. Modifications and cues are given. These are important for balance and stability, such as engaging the core and gluteal muscles.
Benefits: Tones leg muscles, strengthens hips, ankles, core, and gluteal muscles, stretches inner thighs, cultivates balance and poise, and improves concentration.
Strengthen your mind and do it with your eyes closed. Focus on breath and let your eyes gaze to the center of your brows. Whenever the mind wanders, simply bring it back to the breath.
Also, remember you don’t have to be flexible to practice yoga, it makes you flexible.
Watch the Video:
About the Author
Karen Britton is a certified Yoga Instructor and a regular contributor to Fit to Print. She teaches Yoga classes and programs at Fitness Incentive.