presence in yogaUnderstanding comes into being in the now, the present, which is always timeless. — Krishnamurti

Life goes by so fast sometimes that it’s hard to stay grounded. When our minds are still, our bodies’ defense mechanisms make us dwell on the past or fixate on the future when we should be enjoying the present moment. It takes a lot of practice to stay present! Cell phones, laptops, TVs, radios, desktops, tablets, driving, working, eating, talking, sleeping, shopping, other people, pets— the distractions will never end. That’s why it’s important to practice presence every day, not just on your yoga mat. Don’t ignore a person you’re in a conversation with just to check a new text message. A splintered presence isn’t presence at all.

Practicing presence in all aspects of your life will lead to a more fulfilling existence, one in which you are fully aware, experiencing each moment as it comes. There is no better way to center yourself and commune with your own heart than to be present, but it isn’t easy. It takes a lot of practice and sometimes a lot of years, so don’t ever get discouraged. Remember: you’re not in a race to get anywhere. Your own journey and personal growth are the real destinations. Practice presence in the shower, standing in line at the grocery store, while you enjoy that first sip of morning tea, driving the kids to school, when you’re enjoying an evening out, even when you’re stuck in traffic. Incorporating presence into your daily routine will help you to stay present when things get tough.

The more you work on being present the less it feels like practice. Before you know it you’ll be enjoying a calmer, more peaceful way of life. Focus on the here and the now, and everything else will follow.

Be still, be present, just be. Namaste.