Peace with the present moment

How a yoga and meditation practice can help us to make peace with what is. By Paula Hines

In my classes I regularly invite those present to, without judgement, notice what their mind is doing. It’s common and quite normal for our minds to wander. If it’s asana class maybe your mind is asking: “When will this pose finally end?” Or the stillness and quiet of a restorative class may open the door to racing thoughts or worries that you might otherwise choose to push away with busyness or distraction.

How do you find peace in the present moment when things are difficult? Is this even possible? If you find this tough it doesn’t mean you’re failing, it means that you are human.

Challenge comes in wanting things to be different from how they are. To make peace with the present moment a level of acceptance is required. Denial only leads to further suffering. This is not to say that it is easy. The asana class example I give above is light-hearted on one hand, but I think there is a truth in the notion that how we respond to our physical practice when things are not as we might like them to be can be a reflection of how we may respond to difficulties in our day-to-day life. Often we want to resist what is by finding distractions, but with yoga, these distractions are stripped away and, over time, help to bring us closer to truth and further away from fear.

My yoga practice – not just the physical aspect – I have found, has been and continues to be invaluable in being able to face and be with what is. Over the years I have noticed changes in how I face the present moment in difficult times. When I feel more able to ‘be’ and accept, without exception it seems to involve pausing and acknowledging before (if necessary) reacting. That does not mean that everything is suddenly okay and I’m not pretending that I always succeed, but one thing we do know is that whether things seem good or bad, the moment will pass. Just as important is to appreciate, acknowledge and be with those good moments.

Our lives are a collection of moments, though all we truly have is the moment we are in.

As you practice finding peace in the present moment, a suggestion I offer is to look upon yourself and others with compassion. Allow your yoga practice to guide you on your way.

The new book, Rest + Calm: Gentle Yoga and Mindful Practices to Nurture and Restore Yourself (Green Tree, Bloomsbury Publishing) by Paula Hines is out now. For classes, videos, workshops and more visit: or connect via Instagram @ucanyoga1

Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.