It's pretty common to intentionally or unintentionally spend copious amounts of our precious time staring at a screen. Here I am, guilty of this as well as I am staring at my computer screen and typing this message. In this day in age, we use our eyes more so than any other of our senses; our eyes are the dominant tool in which we experience our world. But what about our other senses? One sense, in particular, is our ability and our willingness to listen.
In every class, you'll encounter yoga teachers emphasizing the importance of engaging an audible breath while performing asanas (yogic postures). Ujjayi Pranayama (a form of breathing that's also known as 'victorious breath') is typically encouraged in all forms of yoga with the exception of Yin Yoga (restorative rather than active). But why? Well, for one reason, it is an opportunity to strengthen our ability to listen to this intentionally created sound that acts as a guide. Similar to a soft whispering sound, Ujjayi Pranayama is akin to listening to that inner voice that guides you. You'll find that when you tune into what you're hearing, the opportunity to soften your eyes and turn your gaze inward is abundant. More so than ever before, it is evident that as technology advances, our gaze needs time to rest internally rather than externally.
So, the next time you arrive onto your mat, ready to take in the entire experience all through your eyes ('What's the teacher doing?' 'What is the person next to me doing?' 'What am I doing?'), turn up the volume of that inner whisper and allow your eyelids to rest easy as you breathe deeply -- Give yourself the space to tend the gardens of your other senses.