I finally had a realization last night why I love doing yoga so much. It’s because one can’t easily do it on auto-pilot, or at least if all the alignment principles are attended. I have to be in the present moment the whole time, always observant, sometimes (but not always) analyzing, and participating in the here and now. How could I not, especially when trying to get into poses like “this”:http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/863_1.cfm or “this”:http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/874_1.cfm (regardless of whether I am able to perform them in the final form, which I am usually not)? Often I slip into a state of flow, where time is warped and everything I do is performed with the utmost care. It’s during those times when we start winding down and I feel as if I’m only getting warmed up.

So the title of this post is the first aphorism from Patanjali’s “_Yoga Sutras_”:http://www.arlingtoncenter.org/Sanskrit-English.pdf (pdf file). It can be translated and interpreted in a variety of ways (and was intended to be), but a common translation is “Now, the teachings of yoga.” More than a simple introduction, this sets the framework for the entire set of teachings in the “Now.” The trick is to take the teachings (in my case the mindfulness and the participation in the now) off the mat and into the rest of the day, where I estimate I (and I don’t think I’m atypical here) spend 80% of my time on autopilot. I’ve tried it, with mixed success. I think I really _don’t like_ being on purpose/at cause/proactive in the present during those times I’m on autopilot. Which is why my mind developed autopilot in the first place.

“Now” is the first baby step down a long, long path.

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