Here is today’s quote from Tricycle Daily Dharma, to which I subscribe.
We are so used to projecting our attention out into the world around us, it is a noticeable shift when we face inward and feel the subtle swaying of the head on the shoulders, along with all the muscular microcompensations keeping our body centered in gravity. The acrobat, like the meditator, is bringing conscious awareness to a process that is always occurring but is generally overlooked, which is a vital first step to learning anything valuable about ourselves.
Andrew Olendzki, “Keep Your Balance” (my bolding)
Might as well say “the yogi” rather than “the acrobat”.
From what I’ve read and understand, the very simple act of shifting one’s attention from “out there” to “in here” actually changes one’s brainwaves from beta state to alpha, from stressed to more relaxed.
So you can try this right now, if you like. You’re reading this blog post, which is an “out there” experience.
Read the following sentence, do what it says, and notice how your experience changes:
Bring your attention to the space between your eyes.
What happened when you did that? Did your breathing change? Did your sense of pleasure change? What else did you notice?
It could be your left pinkie finger or the top of your head or the soles of your feet or the center of your belly. Anywhere on or in your body suffices.
It’s not about how far you can back-bend, it’s about harnessing your attention within, which is, as Olendzki says above, “a vital first step to learning anything valuable about ourselves.”