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The Beauty in Practicing Presence

August 24, 2023
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Live Online Yin Yoga Training with Sagel Practice Presence Yin Yoga

There's a fascinating story that has remained a wonderful reminder for me of the beauty and value of our yoga and meditation practice. I thought you might enjoy it and wanted to share it with you.

On a cold January morning in 2007, a man with a violin stood in a Washington DC Metro station and played six Bach compositions. During the 45 minutes he played, over 1,000 people passed through the station. After a few minutes, a middle-aged man noticed him and stopped for a few seconds. A few minutes later, someone tossed a buck into his case. After 6 minutes, a young man paused, then looked at his watch and headed off. After 10 minutes, a young boy 3-year-old boy stopped but was pulled along by his family. Many other children also stopped, but every parent - without exception - had them move quickly on.

Of the more than 1,000 people passing through the station that morning, only 7 stopped to listen for any amount of time. 20 more gave money but didn't stop. In total, the man playing the violin collected $32.17 for his efforts. When he finished, the noise of the bustling crowd took over...he packed up and left without a single person offering applause or any kind of recognition for his playing.

The violinist playing to a crowd of "zero" in the DC metro that day was none other than Joshua Bell, one of the most talented musicians living today, playing some of history’s most gorgeous music on a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Just two days before, Bell had played to a sold-out Boston theater, where seat prices averaged $100+.

Yin Yoga & Meditation Training Sagel

This story invites an interesting question: If we can pass right through an experience of such exquisite beauty as Bell’s performance in the station, what else might we be missing as we rush through our day, or through our lives? Our Yin Yoga mat offers us the perfect conditions for training in presence and bringing the natural quality of our mind, which is awake and relaxed, lucid and connected to each moment.

In Yin Yoga, we’re invited inward, to explore the inside spaces, to listen inwardly with compassionate attention to the hidden parts of our body, the mind, the heart...to hear each thought, to notice each sensation, and to feel each feeling as it happens. This is time we can practice resting in the beauty of the present moment, resting in the beauty of ourselves. We can trust that this kind of attention we nurture on the mat will stay with us as we step into our day with our minds and hearts wide open and alive to the beauty that surrounds us in each moment of our lives.

Interested in taking a deep dive into Yin Yoga & Meditation?  Join me for my upcoming Live Online 40hr Yin Yoga & Meditation Training, Sept 21-24, 2023 ☯🙏 For more details, please visit: HERE!

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