I looked at my daughter today as she walked towards the door of her preschool on picture day -- her first school picture day. She was dressed in her Easter outfit -- her own choice -- and she maturely walked in front of me, her white shoes click clacking on the sidewalk. "Where does the time go?" I thought to myself. "Who is this little girl? Where is my baby?" It seems like just yesterday I was ushered in to the operating room, terrified of so many things, to give birth to her. And now here she is, a walking, talking, singing, arguing, drum-playing preschooler on the verge of her fourth birthday. Who said that all-too-true thing about parenting -- that the days are long and the years short?
"When the breath wanders, the mind is unsteady, but when the breath is still, so the mind is still." -- Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Lately, the most important thing for me about my yoga practice is that is slows things down. When I breathe and that breath fires a movement, I can only be in the moment. When I still my breath, my mind stills. I love this. I crave it when I'm not on my mat and I'm swirling from one task to the next, just trying to keep up. There is no keeping up in yoga. If you are with your breath, you are right where you need to be -- and you are all that you need to be.
I'm not going to lie -- those of you who know me know that I have trouble slowing down, letting things go, being still, steady. I am prone to being unsteady, even falling -- surely this is to happen when my breath is unsteady. Even when I get to my mat and close my eyes to tune into my breath and begin to chant, it is a struggle to quiet my mind and bring my attention to the present. (Is this a struggle for everyone?) Sometimes it takes me more than one try to make myself comfortable in my breath, in the stillness, in the present. But I know this is the gift of yoga. Yoga gives you the fullest version of the present moment -- if you're willing to sit and open yourself to it.
So where does the time go? It goes. I don't want to miss too much of it, so I'm happily tethered to the thing that keeps me present: my yoga.