When two of my teachers both talk of the same topic, it is time for me to pay attention. This week in yoga class, Robert talked about something Jimmy, my acupuncturist and good friend, has talked about for a while now…….open focus.
I learned about open focus in the context of what happens to me when I get in fear. When I get in fear, my perspective narrows, and consequently I get what looks a lot like tunnel vision. My breathing gets very shallow, my pulse rate increases and I can become frozen or stagnant. I become very focused on my fear or whatever is bringing the fear up for me instead of focusing on what I want.
What open focus does is to expand that field and to hold open my vision and my focus so I can realize that fear is just an illusion. What Robert had us do was to hold our arms out to our side with hands pointing straight up in the air, forming a right angle with each arm. We then moved them to our sides where they were out of our peripheral vision and move them slowly to where we could see them in our field of vision while we looked straight ahead. This works to expand the center part of the brain where it holds a very wide field of vision while we are concentration on looking ahead. It forces you to expand your vision…..brilliant.
This is a great tool to use when I am feeling fear. I know one of my body responses to fear is to narrow my field and this works just to do the opposite…..hold it open……thus open focus. This combined with breathing is already making a difference. As I mentioned the other week in my blog about opposites, this falls right in line with increasing what I want in my life and allowing what I don’t want in my life to decrease. Once again, opposites rock……open focus.