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Om Yoga Blog
Om Yoga Blog
Experience Om Yoga and be encouraged to deepen the awareness of the body, mind and spirit bringing forth your highest qualities. Be Inspired to live daily in a way that promotes peace, mindfulness, humility and growth.
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1:29 am

Yoga's Greatest Gift: A Present Mind

unnamed_copyWhen I think of what yoga and living a yoga lifestyle means to me, many things come to mind. I always think back to my first yoga class in Manhattan over 15 years ago.  A former dancer friend who practiced yoga regularly asked me to go to a class and I thought, “Sure, I’ve got this.” I was a competitive gymnast growing up, and I can never remember a time when I didn’t work out – I thought I knew what to expect.

So I walked into this beautiful, quiet room packed with yogis. It was a little dark; a lovely painted tree on the wall, and a single burning candle in the front. The teacher introduced herself, gave a brief talk (which now I know is called a sutra), and began the class with an Om and a chant. I thought, “What did I get myself into?”  I sat quietly and listened to the resonating sound of all the voices. Next, we were on to breathing, and I found myself thinking again, “What is this all about? I know how to breathe.” Next was movement, what I know now as the Asanas. Despite not knowing the names or really any of the poses, I looked around and followed. I loved the flow, the balance, the challenge, the strength, and the flexibility. At the end of the class we lay down on our backs (aka savasana), and again, I found myself thinking, “What?”  This calming, still ending to a workout was completely unexpected and unfamiliar to me.  We ended the class seated, with our eyes closed, a cleansing breath, and an Om – and that is when it all started for me.

I have to admit that my initial draw to yoga was the physical practice. It was a different kind of work out for me; however, over the years I’ve found myself seeking yoga, not only for the physical benefits, but also for the effects I was experiencing as a whole person. I can only describe it as a sense of “awwhhhh” after every practice.

I sought out yoga teacher training in 2014 to learn more about the physical practice, but mainly to learn more about living a yoga lifestyle, especially when it came to raising 2 young daughters. It is very important for me to be a role model in their lives. I want to lead by example based on so many of the wonderful, guiding, inspirational sutras and lessons I have heard in my many yoga classes. I really wanted to practice “taking my yoga off the mat and into my life.”

Now, at this moment, if I were asked what it means to live a yoga lifestyle, my immediate answer would be to be present, as cliché as it may sound. This concept of truly being present was the biggest and most life-changing lesson for me in teacher training. Being a working mom, raising 2 young daughters, and juggling all other aspects life, I began to realize that my mind was constantly in a state of chaos. I was always trying to get everything done, planning for the next event, and making sure everyone was where they were supposed to be. This constant multi-tasking (which I thought was just what every mom was supposed to do) was in fact a distraction. It inhibited me from completely enjoying all the special moments that I intended to savor forever. Time was just passing me by. When I really sat down and thought back to various moments, I was actually having a hard time recalling details, as at the time, my mind was not present. This was eye opening and quite scary!

I believe I have made progress when it comes to being present, but I still have a ways to go – and I can’t wait to see the outcomes of an increasingly present mind. Through my efforts to become more present, I have already noticed a greater joy and sense of contentment in all aspects of my busy life, as well as a greater connection to what it means to really be in the moment. Remember this, as it is so true: ”The best gift we can give each other is our presence.” xx Allyson Rooney