An important lesson that I have learned since beginning my yoga practice in 2005 is that it’s best to not overdo, overthink, or over plan, but instead to go back to the roots of existence, to the rules of nature, and to feel one with what really matters. It’s what we mean when we hear or say, “Take a breath”—slow down and take your life one moment at a time. In my teacher training at Rishikesh Yog Peeth in India this summer I heard my teacher say, “Being enlightened is being completely present in the present moment.” It seems so simple, but yet so hard with our Western mindset of improving our multitasking skills.
Learning from nature is the foundation of the development of the yoga practice. It really appeals to me—starting the day with asana practice at sunrise, calming down as the day winds down with meditation practice at sunset, keeping up with the rhythm of the seasons in what we eat and how we maintain our space and body. Have you ever seen a stressed out bumble bee, frustrated flower, or an aggravated moon?
Everything in nature has its place and time, its flow and order. You are a part of that order and flow, so slow down and feel the connection. Keep it simple. Make a clear path to recognize stillness between the asanas. Pause between breaths, and find space between thoughts. Yoga, the tradition deeply rooted in observing nature, teaches us that.
Once we are in a steady and comfortable posture, we have time for dhyana (meditation) that connects our individual consciousness with universal consciousness. Once we make a pause between inhalation and exhalation, we truly practice pranayama that nourishes our nervous and endocrine systems, the core of health in the body. When we create space between thoughts, we are truly present in the present moment, and each of us becomes a Buddha, enlightened, even if for just a short time.
We are better with less—less anger, less stress, less attachment, less cravings, less doubt. Open space will be available for inward work, reflection, and extension of that inner true self.
Keeping it simple, but true to the universal (yamas) and personal (niyamas) ethical practices, we create space and time for valuable relationships, irreplaceable memories, and a kind, healthy, and happy lifestyle. We keep worries away, as there is no need for worries that do not help our situation. We keep health and peace within and without. We ride the wave of balance and abundance that is out there, knowing that what is needed will be provided. We enjoy life today!
Yoga practice and the infinite knowledge of other Indian philosophies teach us to keep asking what, why, when, and how, and to remember that for each question there is an answer. Ask your question and wait—be patient. Instant gratification is the mistake of the modern world, so take a breath and open your heart to receive an answer.