Last December, one of my students gave me a little book called The Key by Cheri Huber
. It's slim, there are cartoony illustrations sprinkled throughout, the font is big and goofy and the pages have more white space on them than text, but it's so full of wisdom that I can't even begin to explain it.
The book starts like this:
Please, do not do yourself the disservice of assuming there is something to do that is more important than just being
right here, right now, present
aware, attentive, accepting.
Although this is what I try to teach in all of my yoga classes, I love the idea that you are doing yourself a disservice
if you think that there is something better or more important than living in the moment.
Despite being a yoga teacher and doing hours and hours of trainings and reading about being present and more mindful, I struggle with this on a daily basis.
Just last week I was taking a yoga class and about 20 minutes into it, I realized that my mind had been so far away that I had no idea what poses I had just completed in my body. If you'd held a gun to my head, I might have been able to come up with a few ideas, but I had been totally and completely unaware in those preceding 20 minutes.
When I'm practicing, my mind likes to multitask by thinking about blog posts, podcast topics, the logo design project that I was just working on, the email that I need to send, or the sequence for the class that I'm teaching later that day.
My students are the same way; they often approach me right after class--fresh out of their final relaxation--with a question or idea that has nothing to do with yoga. They'll sheepishly admit that they had the idea or thought of the question during savasana, and I'm right there with them. I'm there everyday.
The thing is, struggling with being present is a big part of my reality, and I'm willing to bet that it's a big part of your reality, too. Being mindful and present is really
hard, but it's a beautiful practice that is worth every moment that the mind wanders. If it takes me an hour practice to find 2 or 3 minutes of inner quiet, then that is totally worth it. And if I practice for 75 minutes and my mind never really calms down, that's fine, too.
On one of our recent podcast episodes [Downward Facing Dude 2.0
], Ben said that "yoga isn't fun." And while I don't agree with this, I do know that yoga isn't always "fun" per se, because it can be really hard. It asks us to do difficult things both physically and mentally, and for a lot of people, that isn't fun.
But I don't think that yoga is really about having fun, and I don't think that that's what life is about, either.
What I do think it's about, and what I'm constantly working on, however, is being right here, right now, present; aware, attentive, accepting.
And although this, too, isn't always fun, it's really all we have...and I'm *so* grateful that we have it.
With that, here are a few fun updates + recent blog posts for you to enjoy as we move into a new month...