Presence, Not Presents

28_100720_Jacci_Yoga-3239_low_resThe busyness of the holiday season is in full swing. The time seems to fly by as we run from one commitment to the next, our minds buzzing with all the things that need to be done along the way.  It can be crazy-making.

It is in times like these I try to remind myself of the power of presence. Did someone say presents?! No… Presence.

 In class, I remind my students to draw the awareness towards breath and sensation in order to become fully immersed in the present moment, to slow the hands of time and process the information that is constantly bombarding us. It is easier to achieve, however, in the controlled environment of a yoga class, where the atmosphere is built to induce presence. Not so easily done at a relative’s holiday party, say, where there is constant stimulation and perhaps even a personality or two pushing some emotional buttons. But it is opportunities like these that help take our yoga practice to the next level: off of our mats and into our worlds.

Here are 5 crossover tools for taking your yoga practice from your mat to your world:

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Max Strom Visits Vancouver

Last weekend I attended an inspiring workshop at Semperviva Yoga with Max Strom, teacher, speaker and author. He led us through a breath centered chest-opening yoga practice which left me feeling grounded, open and present. It reminded me that breath is fuel. When we breathe deeply in postures, we become energized and more capable. There is a well of untapped energy within waiting to release.

Max also spoke about forgiveness, which I think we can all stand to practice a little more. One of the take-homes from the weekend: practice gratitude. “Gratitude and anger cannot live in the heart together.”

Thanks Max. I needed that reminder.

Check out his Ted Talk on Happiness for a little weekend inspiration.

Have a wonderful weekend!