Thursday, March 27, 2008

Living in the Now

A few weeks ago, I took up knitting. To begin this adventure I collected about a dozen books from the local library and stopped by the craft store to purchase needles and yarn.

Sitting by the fireside, I pulled out the books thinking this would be easy. Within the first few minutes I realized that learn to knit via a book wasn't working very well for me.

My sons recommended YouTube. This proved to be a great idea. Mrs. Moskowitz's videos were very helpful. However, there was no mention of the importance of taking the yarn from inside the skein! Needless-to-say, I started knitting with the yarn on the outside.

Half-way into my first scarf, the yarn began to knot up; which I now know comes from starting on the outside of the skein. Information I could have used earlier.

As I'm struggling to de-tangle the messed up yarn, with only one end to work with, I found myself sighing (a lot). Finally Mike, my partner, came to help, but it seemed futile. He was patient; I was not. All I wanted was to knit, and all this de-knotting was getting in the way.

Finally, I took a break from this frustrating experience and read some Eckhart Tolle. As fate would have it, Echkart talked about three hindering viewpoint regarding time. That is, thoughts that take us out of the now. They were:

1. Viewing time as a means to an end (like the yarn incident).
2. Seeing time as an obstacle (such as when waiting for someone or something).
3. Time is the enemy resulting in complaining about whatever you are doing or your surroundings.

This may not be new news, but I needed to hear it at that moment. I returned to the project of detangling the yarn with a new perspective; instead of straightening out the yarn just to continue knitting, I considered the enjoyment of creating order out of chaos, the sight of the beautiful colors in the yarn, and the texture at my fingertips. Suddenly this "chore" became almost fun (I didn't say fun; almost fun). Without all the resistance I had brought to the table earlier, this time I was able to progress at a more rapid rate. Within 10 minutes the whole job was complete.

It's this attitude of accepting the current moment and being in it that our Yoga practice enhances. During a practice, we grow in awareness of the body, breath, and thoughts. This week in the classes I guide, we'll focus on this very idea.

Stop periodically and ask these three questions:

1. What is my body experiencing? Scan from the crown of the head to the tips of the toes. Is there tightness or pinching? Can you move or adjust in some way to create more comfort and expanse?

2. What is my breath like? Be the observer; do NOT judge, rather notice. Is the breath moving from the upper chest all the way to the navel? Is the breath free to fill the front, back, and side body?

3. What are the thoughts running through my head? Take a few moments to be still and just pay attention to what is going on in your head. Do not "run away" with the thoughts; rather watch them. As if the thoughts are a play and you are in the audience. You are not the thoughts; you are an observer of them.

Love Much,


Today is the first day of the rest of your life!


K Amber said...

Meditation is where you will live in the now forgeting the past and keeping the future out

K Amber
POWER Yoga Positions FREE

Total Health Yoga - Kris said...

Thanks for the comment, Amber. I see meditation as a time to forgive the past and allow it to be just that--the past. To be patient regarding the future. As I focus on the current moment during meditation, there is a peaceful connection with the Universe. Afterwards, I can still recall the past or plan for the future, but coming from that place of peace or non-attachment.

Nadine Fawell said...

Ah, knitting!
Teaches us just about as much about ourselves as yoga: maybe more if it is a new skill.
And you get cool stuff as an end result. It's about the process though, definitely the process, not the stuff. Ahem.