It's 95 degrees outside, and when I enter the yoga studio for my hot power class it's 110 degrees. It's more than sweltering...it's suffocating. We start class with the teacher encouraging us to stay in the moment. To remain present. I want to be cool, I want the class to be over, so I do.
Before I came to class today I was listening to a podcast about prayer. The woman being interviewed said there was a prayer you could say to ask for an abundance of time. This struck me as interesting, but I didn't think much about it. In a hot sweaty yoga studio, working through countless asana, I found an abundance of time. I found the moment. It was rich and deep and full of possibility. Time stood still. Time was abundant. The moment was everything. Everything I could ever want or need simply existed in the moment. It was perfect.
The moment is everything. It's all well and good to say that, and we all hear it. The only time that exists is the now. The past and future don't exist. They only exist in our mind. And in order to keep us safe, the mind wanders, into the past, projecting into the future, going over events that no longer are, and moving into the next moment, the next day, the next year. It's the job of the mind, to keep us safe. We overplay the importance of the mind, relying on it to figure things out, to solve our problems, to anticipate the future. To prepare us for the dangers, the pitfalls, the joys and successes of the future. But it's not real.
One of the wonderful benefits of yoga is that it gets us out of our heads. We become firmly grounded in our bodies, and lost in the moment.
The teacher talked about climbing Mt Kilimanjaro while suffering with altitude sickness. She couldn't eat anything, and for three days, climbing 7 to 8 hours a day, it was all she could do to take one step forward, and then the next. One step at a time. She would go to bed at night, thinking she would never wake up, and she would, and she would climb, just one step at a time.
During my recovery I discovered that healing could happen in the moment. In the moment I started to feel symptoms of fatigue or dizziness or weakness, I could move out of it, just by changing something I was doing. My body was communicating with me; in the moment. I would not let my mind wander into the past, remembering how sick I had been. I would not let my mind wander into the future, wondering if I would end up back in bed for hours or days at a time. I would not let my mind start to reel and analyze my illness and what it meant. I simply listened to my body, which exists and lives and breathes only in the moment, and in that moment, I could heal. It was one step at a time. One moment at a time. To me, it was just as difficult and just as rewarding as climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro.
When class was over I stepped outside into the 95 degree weather. A soft breeze was blowing. It felt like spring.