A few years ago I began doing "dharma talks" at the beginning of every yoga class. Up until that time, my classes were more about the physical body. My students would come bursting through the door ready to start my "kickurasana" style vinyasa class. They would be on their mats ready to go as I set up my mat and got myself prepared.
Then one day, I asked everyone to "please take a seat on your mats, one that you can be comfortable in for ten minutes or so." The collective look of "HUH?" I got was kind of funny. They probably wondered what kind of torture I had in store for them.
As I started my talk, some of them listened intently, some fidgeted in their theoretical easy sitting pose (sukasana) , some looked out the window at the passersby, one lady even crossed her arms and made a loud harumfing noise to show me that she was ready to begin moving.
Over the next few months, maybe even a year, I had to stay very committed to my decision to spend the first ten minutes of class on yoga philosophy and other spiritual matters. My class gradually began to adapt to the new way of entering the yoga studio. They began coming in and sitting still instead of impatiently waiting for the class to start.
Last week, as I was giving my dharma talk, I looked out at my students and their varying degrees of attention and interest in my topic of the day. I suddenly realized that it didn't matter whether they heard me or not, whether they were interested in what I had to say, or whether they learned ANYTHING at all about yoga philosophy. What really mattered was that by asking them to enter and sit on their mats for ten minutes, I was giving them an opportunity to pause.
Most of us go from one activity, one task, and one thought to the next without taking a break. We continue to stack on more and more activities and thoughts until our hearts and minds are so overcrowded that we can't see straight.
When we pause, we become aware of what's right here, right now . We can let go of the past moments and be open and ready for the next moment. So taking a pause brings us to the PRESENT MOMENT. This ritual of pausing can be a powerful way to become present to whatever we are doing. According to Ekhart Tolle, " Nothing ever happens in the past, nothing ever happens in the future, what happens only happens in the now.
So next time you feel overbooked, overworked, overcrowded, stop what you are doing and remember to breathe in, breathe out, and pause.....
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras