Achieving presence in my mind and body is challenging. I remember how concerned I was throughout my 20-hour teaching training that my postures and sequencing were wrong, that everyone was watching me, and that my instructor was judging me. My teacher and fellow students were some of the coolest, understanding, and most genuine individuals I have ever met. We were all at different stages of our journey–and it took me the entire first day to realize that I had wasted my energy worrying about everyone else. As it turns out, I was the only one creating these mental and physical blocks. My nerves, lack of confidence and concern of judgment completely blurred the first ten hours of my experience. When the second day rolled around, I was ready to focus inward while learning from the other students in my training. By the end of the day, I literally felt like a new person. My mental clarity and body awareness were at a level I never knew existed.
Something incredibly special happened that day–I learned what it meant to truly be present and content with who I am, how I exist, and why I exist in this space. It is an experience I want all of my students to have, and there are a few ways to achieve it.
We often focus on things or events that have already occurred or are yet to come. Being present requires us to give ourselves permission to let go of what’s in the past or future and appreciate the moment in which we are living. Doing so allows us to accept and be at peace with where we are without worrying about things we cannot change.
Very rarely does our life pan out exactly as expected. Have you heard the old adage, “Hindsight is always 20/20?” It’s true…but it can also hinder our ability to move forward in life. We miss out on opportunities when we’re looking behind. Rather than fixating on failures and accomplishments we have yet to reach, take the time to admire the progress and growth which has already taken place.
Being present may seem like a daunting task. It means squashing those thoughts and worries that pester us all day long and while we’re trying to fall asleep. How can we make that happen? To be honest, it’s easier said than done.
Start small. Close your eyes for five minutes and focus on your breath. Notice how your body reacts to each breath in and out. Be aware of any moments in which you try to modify the present. Acknowledge them and let them pass by. This is a powerful practice that is always available to us…and it’s free.
Breathe, savor your food, observe nature, listen to loved ones, feel the ground beneath your feet. This moment is the only place in which we exist.