In most cases our modern lifestyle is one which is full of things to do, people to see, places to go. There is a constant pressure to be getting somewhere, getting on in work to get promotions, doing something special or unique. It is important to have dreams, aspirations and goals, they can stop us from stagnating and help us change negative aspects of ourselves. However when taken to extreme this pressure can cause us unnecessary stress and expectation that takes us away from what is happening to us “NOW” and the beauty that can dwell in it. When we get lost in the overwhelm of things to do, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, we loose the connection to that which is right in front of us. Over February we have been using our yoga to give us the opportunity to step out from that constant stream of stimulation and into the present. Through focusing on the sensations of the breath, the working of our muscles in our body, we are able to bring our minds into presence, now.
The practise of yoga gives us the opportunity to get out of our heads and into our bodies, to create awareness without judgement or expectation, to simply feel what is happening. When we do this we learn that not everything is always how we want it to be – we might not be able to get into the “perfect” triangle pose, we notice that our hip is tight and we are unable to move with ease. However we also learn to let go, to surrender to what we find without any attachment to an outcome. In doing so we experience the present moment, just as it is naturally unfolding in our bodies.
The more we practise awareness, of being present on our mats the more we can be present off our mats as well. We can be aware of nature, of the sights and sounds on a walk. We can feel sensations of warm water on our skin and the fragrant smell of soap as we wash the dishes mindfully. We can close our eyes for a moment and notice our breath or simply feel the sunshine on our skin. It doesn’t matter what we do during a day, so long as our full intention is focused on what we are doing then we are present with that task.
Being present isn’t always easy. It isn’t easy to be present during difficult circumstances, or even to be present all the time when things are going well. Being present is something that we need to practise, through yoga, through daily awareness as we walk, do our chores, noticing our breath whilst sitting in the car at traffic lights. Regardless of what we “do” and that “do-ing” might be “nothing” the more that we are focused on what is happening in this moment, the more that you will be able to realise and appreciate the magic and wonder that each day can bring.