Why is this sunny day so delicious?
This is what I wonder all the time. Lately, I have been experiencing the most amazing moments. I am taken aback more and more each day by the beauty that I am surrounded by in my world. The micro moments that capture my attention. And when I say attention I don’t just mean my thoughts but my senses and emotions.
Moments that capture my whole self.
And even more amazing… the moments aren’t just momentary. They play out at the event and then I find my mind coming back to them, reliving it and savoring the moment even more. For example the other day I was walking with my children and I saw this beautiful cloud. We were watching it together, talking about its shape and then slowly it started to disappear. We all watched it. It was just like magic.
After experiencing more and more amazing moments I started to be curious as to why these moments are occurring? So often? What’s changed? I’ve always appreciated my environment. Now it’s more than appreciation its total enveloping attention. I relate it back to Yin Yoga and this is why.
Last year I qualified as a Yin Yoga instructor. I made a promise to my trainer and fellow trainee’s that I would embark on a 90 day journey of doing Yin every day. 90 days came and went and I was true to the promise. I started teaching and the more I taught the more I practiced at home. I test new ways of using what I’ve learnt to see the effects on my mind and body. It has been an amazing self-experiment. I didn’t assume anything would happen, I was not seeking pleasure but just diving in and embracing curiosity.
As I practice Yin (and as I teach it), we have the opportunity to practice mindfulness. “Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the moment, non-judgementally.” (Kabat-Zinn) Yin allows us the space to practice mindfulness and experience all it has to offer. Most notably, when you are absorbed in the present moment you are momentarily without past or future – just in the now - less the stress of past and anxiety of future.
Looking deeper into the science, when I combine the practice of mindfulness with practice of savoring, my perception of our world and all that inhabits it shifts and changes. Watching the cloud changing shape and disappearing was a moment of awe, serenity, joy and inspiration. It was beyond mindfulness and the emotions were all positive affect. Without the ability to be really mindful, I don’t believe the effect of the savoring would be so strong.
The ability to purposely be in the moment, paying attention and noticing not only the event but the emotions inside and savoring its affect is what is happening. And it is the savoring that I can play back. Both acts are topping up my positive emotions bucket and transforming me from the inside.
The connection between my mind, heart and body is improving every day. I encourage you all to take the opportunity to practice Yin Yoga and Mindfulness. Take classes and top it up with a regular home practice, be a self-scientist and see what happens. See how life can be even more sunny and delicious!