Saturday, 2 February 2013


Being present. Sounds simple, right? Well, I can tell you that it's not, at least not to me. This is one of the reasons why I love yoga and why it is sometimes so damn hard: It strips back all the layers and leaves you with the simple, unvarnished truth. This week's theme of the 40 day challenge is Presence (Come into your body).

To become fully aware of this moment without worrying about the future or reminiscing about the past is something children are really good at, but as adults we have all but lost the ability to just be. While I'm in the shower I remember that I need to buy toilet paper. While I'm cooking dinner I'm thinking that I really should organise the pantry, and why don't my kids eat more fish? While I'm reading my daughter a bedtime story I wonder if she's ever going to love reading as much as her brother does and if I should already get another couple of school uniforms for her, which reminds me that I need to tell my son to do his school project for next week, and I really should get my own website to get that freelance business going... And instead of savouring the delicious feeling of my lovely daughter's warm body next to me, I'm somewhere else, absorbed in things that aren't real.

So this week I'm trying presence. I'm meditating every morning, and while it's tempting to drift back into sleep, I have tiny glimpses into the calm, still centre of my mind. In the same instance I'm realising this, my "monkey mind", as the yogis call it, runs off and the stillness is gone. But that is also part of the process: to witness it without judging and to just bring my mind back to the breath and this moment.

On a more mundane note: I'm feeling pretty tired and not glowing at all this week. After fighting off my children's cold for weeks, it has finally caught up with me, and I have a sore throat and splitting headache. The last symptom could also be caffeine withdrawal. Not having any coffee is probably the hardest thing this week. I'm also a bit worried about my back, which pinches uncomfortably in the morning and after yoga practice. I've had surgery of my spinal disc last year, and going back to these months of unbearable pain is really the last thing I want.

I'm still glad I've started this journey, and I think I'm ready for next week's theme, Vitality...