So I've been going to yoga for a while now and I have a few favorite instructors. One of them is Nielle, and she's a life coach by trade, so you can imagine what her classes are like. Aside from her classes being extremely physically challenging, she adds a mental and emotional side. I haven't stayed dry-eyed through a class, and not just because of the sweat.
Tonight, after asking us to think of a phrase of our choosing to focus on, we went through one of the most physically demanding C2 classes I've ever been in. So much Chaturanga. So much Chair. And while I held those poses well beyond what any other teacher would have us do, with legs, arms, abs, shoulders- pretty much every part of my body- burning, she asked us to call to mind the phrase we told ourselves in the beginning of class.
You are here.
That was my phrase. I don't know why that came into my brain. Probably because my mind was anywhere but in class, anywhere but in the present moment.
And it has not been lost on me that I live much of my thought life anywhere but the present: it's replaying the past, analyzing, questioning- or planning, strategizing, and hoping- for the future.
I have a poem hanging in my apartment, one by Robert Frost, called Carpe Diem. The latter half of it reads-
But bid life seize the present?
It lives less in the present
Than in the future always,
And less in both together
Than in the past. The present
Is too much for the senses,
Too crowding, too confusing-
Too present to imagine.
But tonight, Nielle asked us to be present. And I absolutely was.
PS- See also Isaiah 43:18-19.