Among the many benefits of yoga, I believe the most important is it has allowed me to be more present in my life; to be more present within me.
From the moment I step into the studio I feel myself connect more fully to my body. I feel my shoulders relax. I concentrate more on my breath. I start to notice the tenseness in areas I didn’t realize until I took a moment to listen.
All throughout our busy day we shut the voice of our body down; we don’t have time to listen to what it is telling us; the slight twinge of an achy hip, the tense area between the shoulders, the pull of the muscles down the back, the knee that continues to slightly throb. All these tiny voices of the body are being drowned out by the mind. I have to get this done; I need to pick up groceries, what am I going to make for dinner? When will I have time for me???
Within the yoga studio, I am there only for me. I am there to feel my body move. I am there to listen to what it tells me I can and can’t do. The instructor at the head of the class is only making suggestions; only I know what my body needs.
But listening to the body takes practice; it takes time. The mind has huge expectations of us. It criticizes, it judges, it sets goals from out of nowhere. If you take the time to listen and believe in what your body tells you, you will find a sense of peace; a calmness that allows you to believe that you are exactly where you are supposed to be. Your body is perfect in its imperfection.
Sometimes when I come out of a yoga class, I am more aware of that wonderful body. The placement of my foot upon the sidewalk; how the ball of the foot takes the weight transferring it through the arch and on to the heel. As I shift the weight from one foot to the other, I feel my body sway from side to side. The expansion of my lungs as I take in a full deep breathe, the rise and fall of my chest, the long deep exhale. The slight soreness coupled with the deep heavy relaxation, the calmness of the mind.
I exist here and now.
It doesn’t matter that I have laundry to do or that I need to get groceries. That my taxes are waiting to be done.
For those precious moments after a class I can feel a deep sense of connection to the earth as I take in the lush green grass, the profusion of new buds on the cherry trees, the magnolia that are blossoming.
I find myself looking at the quality of light; how different it can be from dawn to sunset. The cool blues of the morning, the deep golden oranges of the afternoon into the sunset; the golden hour, and finally the magenta blues coming just after the sun has set.
What the rain sounds like as it hits the leaves of a tree. How the earth smells different after a light rain.
All the senses of my body are alive with the beauty of life.
The world is a plethora of sights, sounds and smells which I find myself so grateful to be a part of.
Even if I can’t find the time to practice I know that just a small walk out my door allows me to be present in my life. From the knowledge I gathered throughout my practice, I can take a few precious moments a day to breathe; to come back to me.
What does yoga bring into your life? What do you do to bring yourself back to you?