At the studio we just completed a 30 day yoga challenge. Each week of the challenge students were given weekly incentives for inspiration but also to explore a fuller yogic lifestyle beyond the mat. I'd like to reflect on how 'being present' affected my week.
On our fourth week, the incentive to be more present encouraged students to have less screen time, less cell phone time, notice the things that distract you or take up a lot of your time and space and consciously try to do it less. To notice where you were in the here and now. To pay attention to the company you have, or the person talking and to be more aware with what you are doing. This simple act of stopping to notice or ask myself, am I being present, had profound effects on my week. I really tried to pay attention to the smaller day to day tasks that can be tedious and annoying, like folding laundry. I didn't really want to do it, felt I had to, but saw it as an opportunity to be present. I stopped and paid attention, moved slower and noticed everything.
The radio was playing downstairs, I liked the music, it was relaxing. The laundry was warm, it smelt good and was soft on my skin. I had just made a fresh french press of coffee, yum and was sipping it as I folded. I brewed it perfectly. I noticed I was doing something nice and helpful for someone else because I was folding my boyfriends laundry as well. I knew I was accomplishing something to move forward for the week feeling organized and clean. This is important to me.
All of a sudden I became really happy in that particular 'nothing' of a moment. I felt joy, gratitude, at peace, relaxed and I felt love. In my own little heaven, I kept folding. Was this me exercising my ability to be present? Was I able to shift my perception? Did this also allow me to enjoy the present moment more? YES! I was totally immersed and happy in the HERE and NOW.
I've said it before, but I love to share because it is a useful tool for learning. So I am doing a Call for Submissions. Earlier this week, Jess Hunter, a student from the 30 day challenge shared a blog post she wrote inspired by her practice, her work and this challenge. Click HERE to check it out. It was beautiful to read and I would love to post more of YOUR experiences to the In Fine Feather Yoga blog page online. OK…so maybe writing isn't your thing, but perhaps you email me with a few words, sentences, phrases or pictures. Your experience of yoga might just encourage someone else out there reading it to change their lives as well. If you've got thoughts to share email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be Present. You still have all day to do this exercise! There is always an opportunity to let go and step into the present. What will you notice today? What will you create with your presence? Who will you share this gift with?
With Gratitude and Love, Helena