We talk always about being present in yoga classes... So what does this actually mean?!?
I've taught hundreds of yoga classes ranging from beginners to advanced, there are several things that assist us to be present on our mats but our biggest enemy with being present, is our ego...
Our ego is the the thing that looks around the room at other practitioners and says "why can't I do that", "how come she can bend so far", "how come he can do all the arm balances", "wow I'm the biggest person in this class", "I'm a teacher, I can't let my students see me fall"! We have all been here and to say you haven't would only be your ego denying you of the truth...
The truth is your yoga practice is exactly that your practice not anyone else's in the room, we as teachers are just your guide for that particular class and as your yoga journey continues your ego will soften. It may take some of us weeks to understand this or years, but whatever the time frame, it doesn't matter as it's your own journey. You are the one paving your own path. Just like life you will have hard days and days that seem effortless when you hit your mat. But be sure of this - It's called a yoga practice not a yoga perfect!
Here I shorten a fantastic analogy I read in a book when starting teaching "The pure heart of yoga by Robert Butera"
- A 17 year old boy hits his mat and get's every single pose perfect, while looking around the room comparing himself to others to ensure he is the "best" in the room, whilst practicing in the same room is a 70 year old woman who modifies each of her poses to her bodies capacity, she does not take her eyes off her own practice but practices to her full potential.
The 70 year old woman is the one really practicing yoga as she is present in her practice, with non comparison, she is in no competition with herself or others and the key word is,
she is present! She is not looking to better herself but rather modifies her practice so she can enjoy her own yoga journey for what it really is... Her own practice.
So the next time you practice check into your ego and see if you can start to recognise it's happenings, all the little distractions it makes for you and the obstacles it put's up and see if you can stay focused on your own practice and your own mat!
"Presence is more than just being there ~ Malcolm Forbes"