Zen & Photography

I've done yoga a time or two last year.  The few times I did it, after each session, I felt refreshed and all "yeah, this is great".  I thought it could be something fun to do and it's supposed to make you healthy and whatnot, right?   With that mentality, my commitment to yoga didn't really last long.  So here I am, a year later and I'm at it again but this time with a different perspective on why I am determined to put yoga back into my life.  While I'm no yoga expert and I have only been seriously practicing for the last two weeks, I'm excited at the changes I have experienced so far.  Here's how it began.

So, I started reading the book, The Power Of Now by Eckhart Tolle.  It is such a fascinating read.  It has motivated me to appreciate the concept of "being" and finding peace and stillness in the present moment.  Separating yourself from the distracting thoughts of the mind and finding joy in the moments that are taking place around you.  Does that sound hokey?  Yeah, maybe.  But seriously, TPoN has really enlightened me to the dangers of letting the past define who I am today and how waiting for happiness to arrive at some obscure point in the future can result in disappointment.

How does this relate to yoga?  Besides yoga being a physical practice, I see it as 100% mental.  Yoga is being.  When I practice yoga it forces me to be in the moment, to concentrate on the in/out flow of my breath with every movement.  So when I do my "sun salutations" and "downward dog", I am training my mind to become focused on breathing.  To actually feel my arms stretched out as high as they can down to my toes spread out evenly pressed against the floor.  If that isn't "being" in the moment, I don't know what is! lol.  And it's exciting because recently I feel as if I'm carrying this into other aspects of my life.  For example, my photography.  Now when I shoot, I'm consciously breathing more and embracing the moment instead of excitedly firing away :).  I find myself concentrating on each frame as I shoot one at at a time which allows me to shoot w/ purpose.   And whenever my mind starts to wander (which it inevitably does, lol) I stop and refocus myself back to the present moment and become more aware of my surroundings.  It's been a daily challenge but a constant motivation for me to get better.

So again, I don't claim to be a yogi or anything but I just wanted to share some of my experiences so far.  Just curious how many of you have ever tried yoga?  How did you like it?  Does it take you to a zen-like happy place :)?  lol.  If you're in the NY area and interested in signing up for a class here a few studios that I recommend: Yoga Sutra & Yoga To The People.  And if you're in Queens like me, try here: Zen & Yoga.

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