Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Yogi state of mind

This past weekend I returned to yoga after what felt like eons (but was really just a few months). In the first 15 minutes of the class I experienced something I rarely ever do, but always strive for: being completely in the present.

As I sat on my mat with my eyes closed listening to my yoga teacher instructing us to quiet our minds and find our breath, I found my mind tuning out every.single.piece. of outside stimulus. As silly as it may sound, this is how I describe it... my mind filled up with the present moment so much so that it felt like my head was inflating. I heard no noises around me, but the soothing voice of my teacher. My breath was natural, slow, and restorative. I thought of nothing (and I mean NOTHING) but the precise present moment in which I sat. My thoughts were free from making my "to do" lists, cataloging my cleaning schedule, worry, doubt... everything. My head was filling up with so much of the present that it felt as if my body was beginning to rise straight up to the ceiling. I wasn't above my classmates, rather I was with them. For those 15 minutes or so it felt as if the yoga class was taking place at the top of the room. It really was heavenly.

In yoga, one of the most difficult parts of the practice for me is to be completely present. I have a difficult time shutting off my wandering mind. Thinking of the past, the future, anything but being 100% focused on the present. Fortunately, we're taught that those thoughts are OK and natural, and to just let them pass right on out of your mind without any judgement. Much easier said than done. That's probably why this was such an incredible experience for me. 

And, as with every time I return to yoga from any length of hiatus (there have been several over the last seven or either years of practicing), I can't believe that I ever let my practice slip. I'm making a renewed commitment to myself and my practice to get back into the studio every week.
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