Turn Off the Autopilot~ Practice Mindfulness
Yesterday evening my yoga class celebrated mindfulness and shutting off our autopilot. It never fails to amaze me how I so often hear what I need to hear when I make the effort to attend a class at Dharma Studio in Winchester, Virginia, my local yoga studio.
I was reminded that we humans often perform certain acts out of habit, without thought of being in the present. Yoga teaches us to live and breathe in the present, but even during a practice, I know that I succumb to autopilot at times. Last evening I was reminded that being mindful and experiencing each breathe and asana in the present helps to avoid injury and to enhance the joys of life, celebrate what our bodies can do, and develop the ability to find peace in just being. Part of the practice involved consciously moving differently from how we would ordinarily move into an asana or pose. It was hard work. Initially, being mindful and making conscious change can be challenging.
Last night’s class was a gentle reminder that I have the ability to change my attitudes and my focus. Life is precious and time passes in seeming instances. In my past I devoted too many years to worry, despair, negativity, obsessing about the past and fearing the future. I’ve made amazing strides towards living my life in the present – accepting that while I can’t change the past I can celebrate that each experience has lead me to the person that I am today. I no longer fear the future because I’ve come to accept that I cannot control it. Whatever will be will be. But I can make positive choices in the present, be mindful of my actions, my surroundings, my mind and body, and not just cruise through my days on autopilot, letting time pass without consciously experiencing each moment.
So I encourage each of you to spend some time practicing mindfulness.