This exercise is inspired by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, who demonstrated what it really means to get comfortable when sitting.
We often get into a pattern of thinking about what’s next, which takes us out of the present moment and projects us into a future that doesn’t yet exist.
This is a simple exercise to help stay in the present moment
1) Take a seat. Anywhere and in any way is fine.
2) Once you are seated, sit as if you will be sitting in the same spot forever.
3) In order to sit forever, without getting up, you need to get comfortable. Reposition yourself until you feel like you could sit for a very long time, like 100 years, or forever in the same spot.
4) Once you are comfortable, then go ahead and go back to what you were doing.
5) When you get up from your position and sit down again, tell yourself again that you will be sitting without moving from your seat for another 100 years or forever, whichever your prefer, and repeat steps 1-4.
6) Eventually, whether you are sitting, standing, walking, running or doing anything that involves your body (which is every moment of every day and night of your life), you can apply the 100 year or forever principal to what you’re doing. Just always ask yourself: if I were to do this forever, how would I change what I’m doing so that I’m comfortable and able to do this forever?
Why this exercise helps to stay in the present moment
This exercise does two things
1) Allows your nervous system to settle and for your body to relax into the present moment.
Due to leading very busy lives with long to do lists, we find ourselves subject to thinking further ahead than this moment regularly throughout the day. Thinking and preparing for the future instead of being in the present moment causes the body to become tense in anticipation for the next movement, even if the next movement is an hour from now.
By repeatedly making sure you are comfortable every time you sit, you allow your body to relax into the seated position you are in and not waste unnecessary energy on tense muscles.
That extra energy you can use on the task at hand or store for later.
(RELATED: The Brain and “I”)
2) Improves your ability to focus on the present moment.
In order to successfully get comfortable, you have to be able to let go of the idea that you’ll ever be getting up, which means you have to let go of the future and focus on the present.
Focusing on the present decreases the number of things thought about in any given moment, streamlining thought processes and increasing productivity.
In the end, the more relaxed you are as you accomplish your tasks, the more efficiently and effectively you complete them. And who knows, you might even enjoy them!
Author: Samantha Lotti
Samantha Lotti is the founder of Biodynamic Health and creator of Body Compassing. She is a certified and registered Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist (BCST, RCST®), licensed acupuncturist (L.Ac.) and board certified herbalist in Oak Park, Illinois. A personal back injury brought Samantha to biodynamic craniosacral therapy and ignited her interest in a variety of healing modalities.