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Savoring the Moment

August seems to be one of those months in which I find myself inevitably caught in looking back and looking forward. As the first day of school creeps toward us, I wonder at the speed of the now-almost-past summer; I look ahead to the return to routine, coupled with some pre-existing regret at how busy the days will get. What I seem to forget to do, a little too often, is to simply experience the present moment.

I don’t always nurture my relationship with time. I feel the press of it, or mourn its disappearance, or fill it up in an attempt to make it more valuable, somehow. None of these approaches feel particularly good.

But. When I’ve had the good fortune to be reminded to take a breath and just drop into my body and be where I am at the moment, a thing happens. I start to remember the fact of being alive. I relate differently to the world around me. My skin feels awake. I become attuned to the beauty in what surrounds me, and gratitude for that beauty. Waking up to the present like that, the world often reveals itself to be sweeter than I take it for so often.

Attention and Wonder

This is why I still love practicing hatha yoga, after all these years: it allows me to be in a healthy relationship with time.

This may be a weird concept. What does a good relationship with time feel like? Being honest, I’m right now grasping for the words to describe it. The only appropriate language I can catch is a single Sanskrit word: adbhuta.The distinct feeling of wonder. It comes about when we are empty of expectation for the future, when we have stopped ruminating about the past. The world opens up in real time. We watch it like a flower coming into bloom, and we get to feel part of that blooming. Each breath, each footfall, the sense of a muscle contracting or lengthening, each previously-unrecognized sound, the variance in air temperature, the whole sensory picture, and what lies beneath it: we gain access to all of it when we allow the tenderness of our attention to rest with what’s present.

As summer begins to wane, we wish for you some opportunities to be in that tender state of attention and wonder. Thank you for bringing that to share when we’re on our mats together.

Much love and thanks for reading,

Erin H./Grassroots Yoga