3 Approaches to Maintaining Presence

1. Get Outside & Into Nature
You don’t have to do much beyond walking out the door and into a natural setting to feel refreshed and cut through the mental clutter. Take 5 to ten minutes to feel the grass underneath your feet, the subtle breeze grazing your cheeks, the sounds of birds or insects, and the aroma of flowers surrounding you. And once you feel reconnected, you’ll have the energy to ground into the present moment. 

2. Deploy a Quick Mindfulness Meditation
A quick breath-and-body check deters wayward distractions and shines your attention inward and into the now. Take a comfortable seat, whether perched in a chair or on a floor cushion. Notice how you are currently breathing... Now, deliberately take a few slow, deep breaths, and trace the trail of your breath in your body. That's OK if distractions arise; get back to the soft focus of following your breath. After 6 to 10 cycles, let your breath go and notice how its patterns may have evolved since you first started. Slowly bring your attention to your body and gently open your eyes. Welcome to now.

3. Strike a Balance
Balance poses are excellent gauges of how present you are—suddenly falling over can be a “gotcha!” indicator of a wandering mind. Try out Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose) or Vrksasana (Tree Pose), and notice if you are veering to one side. If you're feeling precariously balanced in a pose (or in life), focus on pushing your standing leg and/or hand down into the earth. Then observe how grounding down and narrowing your attention allows your body and mind to remain steady in the now.