Functional Yoga: Presence

Holiday Greetings! Wishing you a peaceful, reflective, and fun last week of 2015, I'm thinking about the gift of being present for life in this moment, just as it is.

While my primary workplace is closed for its annual winter shutdown, I've enjoyed spending quality time with family and friends, reading, hopping in the car for spontaneous day trips, and, of course, practicing lots of yoga. Stepping out of my routine, I feel grateful for the time and shifted perspective to look closely at everyday activities. In this space, and with yoga as a continual reminder, I'm more able to appreciate the present rather than rushing ahead of it.

What keeps you grounded in the here and now? Children have been some of my best teachers of living in the moment. Two examples that follow explain how.

Shopping with Sydney

As featured in a previous post, my friends Kylie and Sydney are a mother and daughter on the go. I joined them for a trip to a mall the weekend before Christmas and this was still the case. Adults waited in long lines and hurried to finish last-minute shopping, but baby Sydney found joy in her surroundings and shared it with those who watched her. See below to follow her quick and easy recipe for fun.

Sydney's Holiday-Shopping Yoga Sequence:

  • dive into a supported backbend
  • return to center by launching yourself upright
  • run around a little bit

That's it! Sydney reminded us that joy can be a result of a yoga practice even at a crowded mall.

Restoratives with Hays and Olive

On December 24, a portion of my large family attended a children's Mass, returned home to receive visitors, went to my godparents' house for their annual Christmas Eve party, and then headed to bed while Santa worked his magic. During a break in the action, my nephew Hays and niece Olive joined me for some restorative yoga. They looked sharp in their holiday best while softening into the support of furniture and makeshift props.

Their interest in taking a break and shifting their perspective (from tree to ceiling) impressed me. They found joy in the moment of lying down by the fire, pausing the anticipation of the next morning's presents. And giving the adults extra time and space to finish wrapping them.