As a yoga practitioner, as a coach, as a mother, as a human being…I sense the subtle energy of myself and others by observing how we flow or don’t flow and by listening for what is said and what is not said. In yoga our patterns are constantly triggered and through practice we have the opportunity to observe ourselves. We can become less identified with ways of being if we can observe ourselves. If we can observe something in ourselves we can then create space to get distance from that which we observe. If we can observe ourselves then we are no longer what we observe. If we can observe our thoughts then we are no longer those thoughts. If we can notice this then we can start to see the fullness of ourselves and of others. Yoga offers us the opportunity to observe ourselves while on the mat and to stay present to what we observe through our practice. And through yoga we can learn how to meet that which comes our way with more conscious awareness and mindfulness, presence, grace and acceptance.
All of us have very busy minds. Yoga teaches us to reign in our busy minds through diligence. It helps us access and connect with our intuition, the beautiful stillness of our knowing. That which is always there if we stay still long enough to notice it. In yoga we have the opportunity to surrender to our body and to our flow; to feel the subtlest vibrations in ourselves. And even this is a covering of the absolute stillness of the centre of our being, of our essence.
Mindfulness is the art of being in the present moment. It is not necessarily hours of meditation or weeks of silent retreats. It is about being present to the moment when you wash dishes, feed your children, greet a friend, share a meal, or listen to nature. Mindfulness can be practised in a zen garden or in your bathroom. It is bringing as much conscious awareness to as many moments of your day as you can. And it isn’t possible every moment of every day. Our minds wander, to the past and to the future…it’s what our minds do. Mindfulness is bringing our minds back, when possible and with consciousness, to the moment that we are in. As many times as it takes. This is the practice of mindfulness. I practice it regularly when I sit to do homework with my children, when my husband shares about his day, when I am doing one of many household chores, when I walk or run in nature, when I swim or when I eat. Yoga, meditation, martial arts…these are all incredible practices for deepening our experiences and availability of mindful living.