Some Benefits of Being Present

In Nia we take the wisdom of being present into our practice, by being mindful of our body.  Being aware of your body, as it is and where it is, right at this moment, could be your first step of living in the present. You don't recall the past, you don't look forward to the future, you are just here, now. Perhaps you have experienced this in class already?


This week, my willpower has been tested to take this Living-In-the-Present beyond the classroom and into my life.  As challenging as it has been, it has been an amazing journey as always. I'd like to share with you some of the benefits I (re)learnt of living in the present:

  • Being able to let go of the past - forgiving and accepting
  • Being comfortable with the unknown of the future
  • Being able to give your full attention to tasks and people
  • Being in tune with yourself and your surroundings
  • Having an increased awareness of your intuitive self
  • Feeling happy, settled and satisfied.

So much of our energy and attention is stuck in remembering the past or yearning for the (imagined-better) future - both of these things can leave us feeling unsatisfied.  I'm not saying that we shouldn't learn from our past, or have goals to strive for in the future.  But we shouldn't be so stuck on these imaginings that we cannot be here now. The only thing that is guaranteed to us and that we have control over is this very moment! If we put our energy into making THIS moment joyful, we would be more helpful, productive, compassionate people.


I imagine that there will be plenty more times that I get the grace of experiencing opportunities to strengthen my ability to be present (!), but it is helpful to remember WHY we want to be present and the benefits of practicing it - if only to remind ourselves, that there really is a reason you want to be present! The cool thing is, the more I do it, the easier it becomes and the more joy I have in my life.  


Do anything that makes you feel present - do Nia if it brings you to the present.  We can do a mini-practice, together right now as as you read...  Place your attention on where your hands are in space... feel the curl of your fingers, feel where your hands touch, feel the skin across your knuckles, feel the angle of your wrists, feel the pressure of your nails at your fingertips...feel your hands. Do you feel calmer? Did you feel the quiet joyful place?  I hope so!  That is a wee snapshot of what we can experience at every waking moment.


Whatever your gateway is to being present, do it! Practice it so much so, that it becomes effortless to turn off the path of memories and fantasies, to the present moment. In Nia, your challenge is to be mindful of your body at every moment, embody this experience of being present and then step out of the classroom and live it out in your daily life. Are you up for it? Of course you are!

Photo courtesy of Wilson Hui