Yoga: Arjuna and the Eye of the Falcon

There is nothing like a scattered mind to distract you from getting that report done, completing the necessary research for a huge project or being able to stay on schedule to realize your goals and bringing plans to fruition for that golden success. Arjuna was Krishna’s greatest warrior and archer. His skill was like no other. There is a story about the time when Drona, the archery teacher of the Pandavas, asked each one what he saw when standing ready to shoot their bow. Each gave an account of the sky, a cloud, the tip of the bow, their hand, a straw falcon etc. When Drona asked Arjuna what he saw, Arjuna answered, "I can see nothing but the eye of the falcon". He then shot the eye perfectly with the arrow. Arjuna had mastered two important things. One, to overcome distractions. Two, to be able to affix his mind and eye on the target perfectly. This is what made him the perfect legendary warrior. In your attempts to achieve mastery over the ordinary and to continuously move towards your goals, you will need to do the same. This ability is completely dependent on training the mind and the eye, as well as being able to create the quiet space within the moment in which to execute such a precise action. I’ve got this suspicion that Arjuna, being a Yogi, knew a thing or two about how to breathe in order to increase his concentration and his breath control, the other component absolutely essential to good archery.

Arjuna’s Breathing Meditation for Target Practice (Aunaloma Veloma): Placing your right thumb on your right nostril, your ring and little finger on your left nostril and your middle and index finger at the center of your forehead, exhale out of your left nostril, while closing off the right nostril. Bring the breath back in through the left nostril, hold at the point between the eyebrows for a moment or two being aware of the energy being pulled up into this spot. Exhale out of the right nostril, while closing off your left nostril. Repeat this process for 4 cycles, completing the set with an exhalation from the left nostril. Traditionally, this technique would be timed a particular way. I prefer to teach it allowing the breath to find it’s own rhythm, which has proven to balance out to exactly the right proportions indicated.

Breathing in, you may wish to use the mantra, "I am". Holding the breath you may repeat, "focusing perfectly". Exhaling you may repeat, "as I reach my goal". You will feel more calm, focused and ready to celebrate your own victory. Yoga works!

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