From Chaos to Presence

How do we shift our attention from the chaos of the mind to being more embodied in our yoga practice and our life? Most of us are walking around with bodies that are asleep or numbed out. Bodies that are holding up heads full of thoughts and stories, like the soundbites on the morning TV news cycle. I heard once that we have approximately 60,000 thoughts per day. And the sad thing is that probably 58,998 of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday. So what's a girl to do? Here are three tips you can use to prepare for your practice. These tips can also be used any time you want to be more grounded and present throughout your daily life.

  1. Bring your attention to your body. Feel yourself sitting (or standing or lying on the earth). Notice any sensations that are readily apparent or calling for attention. Then notice your body as a whole.
  2. Place a light attention on your breath. Observe for a moment its existence. Notice its rhythm. Notice any sensations created by breathing in, and notice any sensations created by breathing out.
  3. Observe the quality of your energy in this moment. Without judgement or evaluation, just observe. Are you calm or jittery right now? You don't need to change anything, just be awake to what is happening now.

Proceed to your hatha yoga practice, or meditate, or have that really hard conversation with your boss. Go grocery shopping or walk in the woods with your best friend. Take the time to yoke your mind and body. Wake up and be more present to your life. Practice these steps often and repeat. There is no danger of overdoing it. Practicing these three tips may open the possibility of connecting with the part of yourself that is wise and infinite. As you drop below the level of judgement and story, you may just get a glimpse of your Self!