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Be Here Now!

Be Here Now!

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By Rev. Elizabeth Rowley, Spiritual Director
January 25, 2019

Three magic words, made popular by the Western-born yogi and spiritual teacher, Ram Dass. I heard these great words in a Bikram yoga class I recently attended. Yes, that’s the type of yoga where they heat the room to one hundred degrees!

In Bikram yoga, the instructor talks consistently for the entire class, guiding and directing students into, and out of, a series of twenty-six yoga postures. They refer to this type of instruction as dialogue.

When you have the same instructor time, and again, you grow accustomed to their cadence and can guess when the posture will conclude.

When you attend a class with a different instructor, it’s not uncommon to be held in a pose for one or two seconds longer than accustomed to. In a room heated up to one hundred degrees, one or two seconds longer can feel like an eternity.

Last Monday a new instructor was leading my class, and she made a request. She requested we stop thinking and allow the dialogue to dictate our next move. This request came after several students randomly popped up, and out of their postures before receiving the guidance. She went further to suggest that when you hesitate before getting into a pose, you are in the past; and when you get out of a pose before hearing the instruction to do so, you are in the future.

Isn’t this a brilliant lesson for yoga and life?

Where are you hesitant? In yoga, career, health, relationships, finances, or other? Where are you reluctant to move forward in relationships, in choosing your next right action, in finding the perfect job, or in caring for your body?

Where do you get ahead of yourself, inaccurately predicting the future, ready to give it all up and forget about it?

When I’m entirely present in Bikram yoga, I find myself intensely focused on the posture, undistracted. I can adjust my body according to the dialogue of the instructor and hit the perfect spot. I am stretching forward, bending backward, in the zone, beyond rapid heart rate, beyond one hundred degrees of heat. I get beyond the sweat dripping down from my eyelashes, beyond mental activity.

In the Science of Mind teaching, we practice yoga of the mind. For example, consider an affirmation you’ve been using in your life. Imagine the affirmation is the yoga pose and you’re in a hot yoga room. In the yoga class, regardless of the heat, the increased heart rate, and your desire for water, you remain in the pose; concentrating, meditating.

With your affirmation as the mental pose, regardless of any thoughts of fear, doubt, worry, or your story about your past, you stick with it, you remain in the posture. You begin to believe the affirmation is true, and see the results of your word in your life. You’re happier and healthier because you stayed with it, in the present.

Be here now.

And so it is.

Rev. Elizabeth Rowley

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