7-Day Self-Care Yoga Challenge, Day 2: PRESENCEBy Studio Anya / November 28, 2017 / News / 0 Comments
Be here now. ― Ram Dass
Presence is the essence of life. It’s more than just showing up. It happens any time we fully embrace the moment, as it is. Nothing to change, improve, avoid or fear — simply, be here now, in all your innate glory and humanness.
There are many instances when we’re not able to be present. We may show up on time, check all of our boxes and earn the certificate. It’s even possible we got the gist of what happened and took away some kernels of truth. Here’s the thing – attendance doesn’t guarantee presence. Yes, showing up matters – it’s a commitment (maybe even a devotion some days), but presence, is a whole other level.
Presence requires vulnerability- a humble willingness to feel into the full experience even when it’s tough, disappointing, uncomfortable or confusing. You can encourage more presence, even practice it with meditation and yoga, but being hard on yourself won’t get you anywhere. Presence isn’t a pass/fail situation. It’s much more nuanced. There’s a reason we hide parts of ourselves from the moment. We expand and contract for good reason and the initial goal is to learn about these patterns.
Start with what makes you expand. Inspiration nourishes presence. Which moments joyfully excite and comfort you? What moves you, lights you up … makes you want to dive in, pour your heart into it and absorb every morsel? Basically, make a list of when it’s effortless to embrace the moment. Whether you name 10 or 100 examples, choose one. Zoom in on that occasion (in your memory or next time it happens). Study how your body feels (ah! Do a Body Scan), listen to the rhythm of your breath, notice your thoughts – study the experience so it becomes replicable. Feels are transferrable.
(We already know how to replicate and transfer feelings, we do it all the time, we just choose to repeat and grow the negative ones. The point – understand how presence feels so you can craft more of it in your inner cauldron and draw upon it freely in times of depletion.)
And in those moments, days, weeks or chapters where being present isn’t an option and getting from point a to point b is the best you can do. Don’t judge yourself. Instead, gently acknowledge what’s holding you back. Fatigue, fear or anxiety, for example, have made it too painful to greet life with wide eyes and an open heart. Don’t add any more pressure. Comfort zones were made for a reason. Consciously grant yourself permission to coast and get through it. Turn your presence inward. Make contraction and retreat a conscious and wholly loving choice. Rest. Pace yourself. Distract by design. But most importantly, now more than ever, stay close to your breath. That’s your lifeline. Tread softly, let the light in, and more and more it will feel safe to shine your presence back into the world.
1. Come to standing.
2. Position feet hip distance apart (align heels with sit bones). Rest arms down by sides and turn palms facing forward.
3. Evenly distribute weight on all 5 bases of toes, heels and inner and outer blades of each foot.
4. Set gaze at one point higher than you or close your eyes.
5. Hold Mountain for 8 deep breaths.
Modification: Sit in a comfortable chair. Ground feet on the floor. Place hands on thighs, palms facing up.
Self-Care Benefit: Stand tall hold your head high, ground your feet and get quiet. Listen to the consistent flow of your breath. Mountain helps you find your center of gravity as you align with both heaven and earth and experience your inner strength, stability, and confidence.
Meditation Technique: Embracing
On the Mat
1. In Mountain, place opposite hand to opposite rib-cage.
2. Inhale; feel your ribs expand wide into your hands. Exhale; gently hug your ribcage, feel your ribs contract and become smaller.
3. Repeat for 8 deep breaths.
Off the Mat
1. Anytime throughout your day, while standing or seated.
2. Take 20-30 seconds to place your hands on your ribcage and feel yourself breathe.
3. Take 3 deep breaths.
Self-Care Benefit: The Embracing Technique enhances body awareness. Wrap yourself up and give yourself a hug to melt away stress and activate your powerhouse – a generator of energy and deep reservoir of strength.
Essential Oil: Sandalwood (Santalum Album) PLEASE USE ETHICALLY HARVESTED OIL
Aromatherapy Technique: https://www.essentialbodywisdom.com/create-aromatherapy-rituals/
Self-Care Benefits: Clarifying and stilling to the mind, it connects us to our inner sense of “being.” Sandalwood brings to us that inner sense of unity of body, mind, and spirit, returning us to our “essential self.”
Technique: Silently recite this mantra in your mind 8x. You can say them all at once or spread it out through your day.
Self-Care Benefit: AUM is the ancient spelling of “om” and includes the full vibratory nature of this power word, said to be the sound of creation. Each of the three letters awakens a different layer within you ( A – heart. U- throat and M- Crown) and speaks to your mind, body, spirit and soul. Reciting AUM will heighten appreciation for your current life, anchoring you into the here and now with renewed hope, gratitude and personal power. At the same time, you’ll be elevated beyond reality to witness yourself from a greater altitude. Acknowledging your wholeness, your spirit in human form, inspires faith in the vastness of your cosmic heritage.
Suggested Reading for more Inspiration from Yoffie Life