“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, nor to worry about the future, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.” -Buddha
Have you ever noticed times in your life when you are fully present? You may be playing an exciting game, painting a still life, or playing a musical instrument. Time seems to fly by. You are in the moment and not thinking about the past or future. On the other hand, can you think of times in your life that you go through the motions of what you are doing without being truly present? For instance, you may be walking to work and accidently step in a puddle because you weren’t paying attention to what you were doing. Instead, you were replaying a fight in your head that you had with your spouse the night before. Or say you are visiting with a friend you haven’t seen in a while but the whole time you can’t help but think about a big job interview you have coming up that week. You become divided. Your mind is somewhere else. You are not present.
All stress results from not being satisfied with where you are or with what you have in the current moment. This resistance to the current moment creates a low level of stress and discontentment that lingers in the background of our everyday lives. Our thoughts are not the only things that distract us from the present. We often try to escape the current moment with alcohol, drugs, food, sex, shopping, TV, or the Internet. Although these tactics may provide some comfort in the short term, they rarely work out for anyone in the long term. The only way out is to become present.
Staying present involves a great amount awareness. Here are a few simple steps from the hatha yoga practice that can help you become more present:
1. Become Aware to Your Body
2. Relax Your Face
3. Focus on the Breath
4. Become Witness
5. Yoga Please