Mining the MomentSep 14, 2022
A few months ago, I sat on my couch at the end of a long day, pausing to rest and look out the window for a few minutes before getting started on dinner. I was feeling weary, disheartened, and troubled by current events. A few minutes later, the sun had reached the perfect angle to flood our living room - and me - with light. It was pretty magical.
As the sunlight streamed through the room it made everything it touched luminous and golden. As I sat there basking in its warmth, my jaw softened, my shoulders relaxed, and my breath slowed down to a smooth, full rhythm. I felt that the sunlight wasn’t just shining on my face, it was also seeping into my being, bathing me with solace, encouragement, and renewal.
It was a palpable reminder of a core teaching of yoga that I’ve cherished over the years – the notion that amidst all the pain and suffering of the world there exists undeniable beauty and goodness that is sacred. As Lord Krishna tells Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita,
Wherever you find strength, or beauty, or spiritual power, you may be sure that these have sprung from a spark of my essence.
10.41, trans. E. Easwaran
What made the pleasant experience of sitting on my couch into something more sublime?
I think it was the combination of sensitivity and awareness developed through practice coupled with the perspective of yoga philosophy that enabled me to find inspiration and meaning in a seemingly ordinary situation.
It was a transcendent moment, and I had been there to experience it – not just physically there, but present in mind and spirit.
This is how an integrated yoga practice works. It helps us become available to experience the moments of our lives with presence and attention, and offers us the perspectives that enrich those experiences.