For some people, and especially for those just starting the ancient practice, it can be challenging to focus during yoga class. One minute you’re in-tune with your body and breath, and the next your gaze drifts to someone’s perfect tree-pose or to a snazzy new mat you’ve been eyeing across the room.
A few acclaimed yoga instructors at New York City studios are trying to shift the focus inward by wearing blindfolds during classes! For Matt Lombardo, a teacher at downtown NYC’s Jivamukti studio, what started as a temporary way to shut out distractions became a consistent practice.
“I did one class blindfolded, and it was so great,” says Lombardo. “It totally revitalizes one’s practice.” Now, he’s practicing blindfolded on a regular basis, and so is his girlfriend, Broadway actor Cristy Candler. With mats side-by-side, the two flow from chaturanga to upward dog, invisible to each other.
I feel wearing blindfolds, or even just keeping your eyes shut during practice, forces you to have dialogue within yourself – your positive or negative thoughts, judgements, and criticisms cannot be escaped via outward distractions. You must confront them, head-on. I think blindfolded yoga classes would catch on quickly in Vancouver. What do you think?