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The Gift of the Present Moment

Updated: Jul 10, 2023


As a young person, I suffered a lot internally. I was full of anguish and stress. I was recovering from PTSD. If I’m really honest with myself, I was actually suffering long before anything majorly traumatic happened in my life.


I remember for the first time when I was practising yoga, the surprise of actually feeling my body. To allow myself to feel my physical body and to be able to breathe was one of the most liberating discoveries in my life.


The simplicity of being present in a yoga room helped me heal.


My suffering, anger and upset existed either in the memory of something that had happened or, conversely, my suffering came from being anxious about or afraid of what was to come.


Learning to be in the present moment is something I am grateful to work on each day practising yoga. I am grateful for the opportunity to continue to practice, stumble, fall, get back up again and try, try again.


Once I learned to practice being present for longer and longer stretches of time, everything became easier and more clear. This doesn’t mean that I’m always able to do it. But, as with anything you practice, it becomes easier with repetition over time.


There is nothing to strive for in the present. There is nothing to languish over in the present. Everything exists here and now.


In a very tangible way, Hot Yoga teaches us to practice all sides of the present moment. Even when you are working purely on a physical level, you must learn to accept yourself where you are today, exactly as you are. You can't force your body to move if it's not ready! You save yourself so much energy just learning to be ok with where you are.


This radical self-acceptance teaches us that part of ourselves that is non-judgemental, patient, loving towards oneself, compassionate, and wise.


On the other hand, you must also be able to hold a high vision for yourself to be able to accomplish all that you are able to do (in time). Truth exists only in the present moment. It is infinite and abundant.


When I opened my yoga school, my teacher Mary said to me, you must hold a high vision for your students. And I treat it as a mantra to this day in my interactions with all people, including myself. As you begin to do this for even yourself, you can accomplish your miracles effortlessly.


When you hold a high vision for yourself, the part of you filled with self-doubt slowly gets more and more quiet. If you tell yourself you can't or that you are not worthy, you will not be able to do it because you have already decided. Sometimes, we just have to get out of our own way.


Over time, the negative is replaced by a still small voice within you that reveals your truest nature as infinite, powerful, creative, kind, loving, beautiful and abundant.


Of course, because we are just on our way, we take baby steps. Doubt may creep in and that is normal. So, we let it go and try again.


When you truly become committed to living in the present moment, everything will shift for you. It may begin simply in your practice. Then, it may carry over into your life.


All the miracles that you are able to create in your life happen here. You may not be in the splits in a standing bow, but you can practice with supreme Grace, Presence Mindfulness and Awareness - consciously choosing to be exactly where you are at that moment in time, being happy with where you are in that moment in time.


When you’re in meditation, it’s not necessary that all of your thoughts cease. In the early stages, you may just be conscious of your thoughts and aware that they are temporary. Similar to your feelings, they come and go. They are neither good nor bad. When you realize that who you are is beyond your thoughts and feelings then you stop identifying with them. Beyond that lies the ground of the present moment.


Practising being present in a yoga class is really quite simple. You have some easy tools at your disposal:

  1. The first is simply to be aware of your breath.

  2. The second tool you have is awareness. Just begin to notice everything about yourself on all levels. Start with awareness of your breathing or awareness of your physical body. You can stay there for as long as you need to. Over time, you may become aware of your thoughts, and when you start to become aware of your thoughts, you may become aware of how repetitive, temporary, changing and how many they are.

  3. The third tool is gratitude... More on this to come. :)


We are here for you! So happy every time you come to class. Have a beautiful day and see you soon!


With love,

Cat


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