If you’ve ever taken a yoga class, you’ve probably heard the instructor say something like, “notice the places you’re tight or resisting.” When I first started taking yoga, and I heard this cue, I would immediately begin to judge myself — my ego would take over and thoughts would push out the present moment. “I must be doing yoga wrong.” “I’ll never be able to relax.” “I can’t relax.” “If I leave here exactly when class ends, I’ll get home in time to watch [insert television show here].” “Wow, she looks so relaxed, I wonder how long she’s been doing yoga…”
As I continued to practice yoga, and learned more about staying present in the pose, I realized that I could notice my body’s physical expressions of tension without attributing a personal flaw or failure to it. I began, in fact, to notice without judgement. I began to notice those sensations for exactly what they were — sensations. That act of noticing or witnessing, without judging, is being in the present moment.
Being present may only happen in flashes at times, but when it does, that stillness is peacefulness. No mind, just is-ness. Bringing your awareness to the present on the yoga mat is a beautiful gateway to let the presence into the rest of your life. Another way is through meditation. Sit in silence, if even for a few minutes, without judgement of the thoughts that may pass through like clouds in the sky. Cut through the thicket of thought in your overgrown mind by becoming aware of your own breath, your own being.
If meditation seems tough for now, try observing everything through the eyes of an infant. See things for the first time everyday. Look at the shower head as if it’s a completely foreign object. Listen to the bird chirp as if it’s a sound you’ve never heard before. Experience newness with every action and breath.
This act of seeing things for what they are takes you out of your mind and into the moment. Trust what you see, not what your mind tells you, they are often very different.
– Your Charmed Yogi