This week for our Yoga Teacher Training, we have been reading about Pratyahara and Dharana in The 8 Limbs of Yoga: Pathway to Liberation by Bhava Ram. In fact I was reading this book, at lunch (by myself) as below:
At the very beginning of the chapter on Pratyahara, Bava talks about our to-do lists and how they never end and we keep adding to them...
We have forgotten how to be Human Beings and instead have become Human Doings.
I was reading on a short break between checking things off my to-do list (while waiting for my lunch), with the to-do list laying directly under the text telling me to be more present.
Convenient to have such a clear message in front of me. (I am still carrying around that list... and adding to it). Have I learned anything?
Tonight as I got home from class, I had planned the next few hours: cook dinner, bake some bread, maybe even a sweet treat as well for the rest of the week. After pouring quinoa into a pan, preparing to rinse, my apartment went dark. The power went out, and the electric company had no idea why, and I had no idea when I would be able to turn on a burner to heat the water to do any cooking.
And something else - on that list of tasks to accomplish were the words "take a bath". Yes, my life has become so full of things to accomplish, that I had to plan to do something so simple. And the truth is, I have been putting off a simple, pleasurable, self-care bath for over a month. So tonight when the power went out, I sliced an apple, ate it with almond butter and a slice of fiber-rich, gluten-free bread, scrubbed the tub and took a candlelight bath.
And it was so nice. I sat in silence for a while, then started singing some Bonnie Raitt. Totally cathartic.
Tonight's power outage was a lesson in being present - enjoying what I have available to me in the moment, soaking in the stillness (and silence of no electronics!), and taking care of myself. I am learning slowly, one step at a time.
When was the last time you did something for yourself? Do you have a practice of self-care, and spending time in stillness?
As always, I would love to hear your story.
with love and light, Alaina