Monday, May 3, 2010

Staying Present...

I become more and more enlightened on how important staying present and in the moment can and should be. When I teach yoga you will hear me say throughout the practice: ”find and connect with your breath”, “free your mind of whatever you may have brought with you to the mat: schedules, conflicts, worries etc” or “when your mind wanders, notice where it goes, be aware of it, let it go and refocus your mind”.
In my practice I have heightened awareness of my thoughts because I am asking my mind to stay quiet. I am trying to find that place within my mind where no thought exists. Every time I bring my mind back to quiet (to present), I find myself within moments, noticing again where my thoughts are and yet again, bringing my mind back to present… This happens over and over and over again. This is a definite exercise of the mind and what I find is that it becomes easier and easier with every practice. Staying present is facilitated by using controlled breath which I engage almost immediately upon the start of my practice so I am able to become one with my breath, focusing on each inhalation and exhalation, noticing the catch in my breath just before I exhale, really just focusing on the flow of breath and how my body is feeling within the postures.
Why is this important? Why am I writing about this? For me, I am striving to achieve oneness between my mind, body and spirit, to live in the present moment, not living in the past and not worrying about the future. I used to think of future and past concerns to be larger in nature but they can also be smaller things, sometimes many smaller things that are weighing heavy on our mind, which in some cases can dominate our thoughts. One by one they generate worry, concern, anxiety etc. which creates undue hardship on our physical body, and disconnects us from our spirit.
So why do I write about this? I am on a quest to become more and more present for myself, I want to be present for my horse, staying with her, being a leader for her and staying every bit as present as she is in every moment of every day. I want to be present for the people in my life, I want to stay present for my health not inflicting undue stress onto my body through negative thought which translates into emotion resulting in stress, anxiety and tension which impacts the body.
When I am present “I AM”. In the moments when I am totally present: one with my body, breath, spirit, I recognize my true presence, my true being… in those moments. And those moments get longer and longer. And those moments occur more and more off the mat. So when you are on the mat practice staying focused on your breath, stay present with every inhalation and exhalation. Stay present within your postures, be aware of how your body feels in every movement or within a posture. When you notice your mind wander, take notice, acknowledge your thought, acknowledge the feeling it provoked… and just let it go. Also think about heightening your senses within your practice, how far can you hear, what can you see or smell..? Can you become alert to your surroundings, more in tune with your senses in the moment?
Let me know how you are coming along in your practice and what you are noticing in your everyday life and horsemanship. Join ZennerYoga facebook group and post your progress or write me with questions at This will help me help you and others at the same time!

Be Blessed,

Theresa Zenner