Head's Up Yogis: Practice Presence Off the Mat

When was the last time that you walked outdoors without self-imposed distractions? Whether walking to work, to your next yoga class, to the subway, to your home, for exercise… is your mind always somewhat side-tracked?

That's right, I'm talking about iphones, ipods, cell phones, texting, tweeting, blogging, facebooking, gaming and maybe even old school - talking on the phone. Cell phone, that is.

Believe me; I'm guilty of it, too. One of the natural responses to seeing a breathtaking sunset has become, "Ooh, I should Instagram that for FB. What a great shot for my timeline." I regretfully admit there are mornings that I roll over and check my email before even getting out of bed. You know what I'm talking about, don't you?

Reality check. What ever happened to living in the moment? Are the real moments getting lost with our heads down and devices up? Are we missing what's going on around us, because we're so wrapped up with what's happening on a 2x3 inch hand-held screen?

I propose that we become more conscious about where we are in the present moment and begin to practice full awareness in that space - sans distractions. Do you want to be the person walking down the street with your head held high, making eye contact with those around you? (Don't cringe, fellow NYer's!) Or the person bumping into everyone, because you can't get your new app to download quickly enough? Mmm hmm, that's what I thought.

The practice of awareness is not meant to be restricted to the times that you are physically on your mat, moving and connecting with your breath. That's only just the beginning. I encourage you to bring this practice off the mat and onto the pavement. Who knows what you will start to notice?

As my grandfather used to say, "Walk proud." Connect with the present, with your surroundings, with your own, unique steps. Put down the devices, and heads up, yogis!

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