Now. That present moment. Eckhart Tolle’s quote is a great reminder to stay present with the now. But it’s hard for some people to connect with how to be in the present moment and aren’t even sure how that feels. If you’re struggling with how to connect to the now, how to bring yourself to the present moment, I’ve included a brief breathing exercise below that you can do. It will help you get into the “Now, Now,” as Colonel Sandurz (Spaceballs) would say.
You’ll need a mat and a bolster or just a bolster and your bed. A rolled up towel can substitute for a bolster. Put the bolster or rolled up towel lengthwise to your spine. Your’re going to lay on it so the bolster is under your heart and your shoulders drop off on either side. You can either let your head rest on the bolster or let it hang off the top, whichever feels most comfortable to you is the perfect choice.
Once you are laying on the bolster, first, let your arms splay out across the floor, let your hear open to the sky and take a deep breath through your nose, feeling it lift both your heart and your belly to the sky. Then exhale through your nose as you release your shoulders allowing the bolster to counteract a daily habit of rounding shoulders around a computer. Take another deep breath filling your lungs and belly and then slowly exhale.
When you are ready, put your right hand onto your heart and your left hand onto your belly. Close your eyes and observe your breath. Focus on the pattern of your breath, what you feel and the sounds you hear. Feel your breath on your inhale as it fills up your lungs, fills up and expands your body. Notice how your lungs and your body compresses on each exhale. Stay here for a few rounds of breath, keeping your attention on the only thing that matters at this present moment–your breath.
Now start matching your inhale to your exhale, trying to make them the same length. Stay conscious of your breathing, in and out through your nose. As you are ready, you can either resume your normal breathing, or you can deepen your breath as you move into your yoga practice.
I hope this breathing practice help you to appreciate the now. You can also read The Now Now a previous post that I did about staying aware of the present moment.