The Future, through Yoga

Yoga helps me see the future. Poses are only held long enough to appreciate the work it took to get there, and they’re laced with the recognition that exiting one means entering another.

Yoga doesn’t reveal specific details, but it keeps me aware that there’s a future coming. And because the future is always on its way in, the present is constantly on its way out.

It’s hard to hold onto things when nothing lasts forever. That may be a bit depressing on its face, but searching for a more comforting answer returns only a reframing, given the constraints: everything painful we experience will come to an end, as will the wonderful stuff.

Like anyone, I try to limit how often I find myself in negative or even neutral situations. Only the good, none of the bad or boring for me, please! Unfortunately, life is chaos and the only certain source of control we have is how we deal with the unpredictability of what we’re given.

The good news is that by conquering enough of these undesirable moments, both gigantic and minute, we can build a substantial sample size of success from which to reflect upon after the fact. Through this type of self-observation, we are able to recognize that, given a long enough timeline, most extreme feelings become muted and few specifics can ever be recalled. Go ahead, give it a try.

The big bold takeaway here is that soon, this moment will be five years ago. So don’t worry as much about the present being aggravating or embarrassing, because those details are footnotes and will fade away in due time.

If a moment feels uncomfortable, let go of the present and imagine thinking back on the circumstances of it years later. The specifics of the future may be unknowable, but the specifics of the past become that way as well. Is this the opposite of mindfulness, or a branch of it?

On the easier side of the equation, when waist deep in the good life, engage with the moment for all its worth because it will dissipate just the same as the bad. That’s not meant to dampen the high; rather, actively holding this awareness can be a shortcut to achieving regular gratitude, which is the surest way to earning moments of happiness. I encourage giving that one a try as well.

Yoga helps me see the future. It doesn’t inform me of what’s coming, it doesn’t tell me whether I’ll like it, but it reminds me it’ll be here soon. Yoga helps me see the future because it prepares me for any outcome. Yoga helps me see the future because it highlights that living is a lifelong pursuit.

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