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A wave of violent storms ripped across the state this evening. We cancelled our 4 pm Beginners Workshop so everyone would remain safe at home with loved ones.

This was the first time in our household that we prepared a safe room – water, cell phones and chargers, personal items, helmets, rain coats. This is completely out of character for us. Normally we wait out a storm by watching the TV weather reports. Somehow, this threat felt more serious.

On the northwest side of Indy, we dodged a bullet. Many others, sadly, found that their lives suddenly had taken a hard left turn. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those in Lebanon and other areas that did not escape the storm’s fury. We got lucky…this time.

As I watched the storm blow leaves and toss branches horizontally across my view, I was reminded of how quickly our lives can change. That thought made me more grateful for the gift of my yoga practice.

Yoga teaches us to remain present – to experience the richness of each moment without expending energy on the past or the future. The centering and meditation we do at the beginning of class always brings me to this place of stillness and connection that places me squarely in the present. Whether I am instructing or participating in a class, it is the mindfulness of the moment, followed by the mindfulness of the next moment, and the next one after that, that infuses so much meaning into my practice.

The challenge, of course, is to maintain that connection and remain mindful when off the mat. Pranayama – breath work – and taking time to pause and reconnect, just as we do in Child’s Pose, are useful tools both on and off the mat. It is too easy (and familiar) to plow forward, skipping from one meeting or task to the next, ticking items off the “to do” list. Tonight I am reminded to employ these tools from my yoga practice so that I may live more intentionally, finding meaning in each moment.

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