A practice in presence…teen yoga blog

Usually, I take my phone in with me to yoga class.

The other day, I was in class, in a triangle pose, and I silently started wondering how many people might have liked my new photo on Instagram.  I turned my head to look at my green 5C iPhone at the front of my mat next to my two blocks, mat strap, and water bottle.   I know my phone is safe out in the cubbies, so why did I feel the need to bring it into class with me?

I felt pathetic having wanted to check my Instagram account during class, so I decided to try leaving it outside.  And I felt more pathetic when I realized it felt unusual, uncomfortable even, to be doing yoga without my phone next to me.

So what was it about that phone that made me feel so clingy?

I don’t know about you, but I love taking photos.  I’m artsy and creative, and love taking photos that capture the moment.  Sometimes, however, it is easy to forget that my real life is much more important than my virtual life.  In High School, it doesn’t always feel that way though.

Many people feel the need to post exactly what they are doing all the time, to show everyone else how great their life is.  Everything that really “happens”, happens on social media.  So we stay plugged in, thumbs tapping away to make sure we don’t miss what’s “happening”.

But I quickly came to the realization that I am not my phone.  My phone is a tool, and that’s all it was ever meant to be.  For teenagers, life is quickly becoming a thing that happens while we are looking at our phone screens.

It is imperative that you give everyone the attention they deserve.  On social media we think we somehow get more attention there than anywhere else.  Maybe, this generation needs to turn their minds from, “who in the room is going to give me attention?” to “whom in the room can I give attention to?”.

You are a person that, at times, needs the focus to just be on you.  On your mat is a time to give your body, your spirit, and your mind the attention it deserves, without the distraction of a text message.

This past week, the summer challenge has been to surrender.  Maybe in honor of this challenge, surrender the time you usually spend on your phone for a moment with a friend, a family member, or even for yourself.  Depending on who your are, this may look a little different; maybe you need to spend a couple hours away from your phone, maybe a day, maybe even a few days.  But however you choose to do it, allow your mind and spirit to fully embrace the moment you’re in; allowing yourself to, wherever you are, be ALL there.