Here and Now: Myths and Reality

The phrase ‘being here and now’ used to remind us of mindfulness, but today it is increasingly becoming a slogan for escaping reality.

This practice originated in the yogic tradition and is mentioned in the ‘Katha Upanishad.’ This is one of the oldest Upanishads and tells the story of a deceased boy who speaks with death about important spiritual questions. The text defines yoga as the control of the senses. The ancient knowledge laid the foundation for the practice of modern yogis. Additionally, in a highly simplified version, the idea of ‘here and now’ can be heard from numerous TikTok goddesses, Vedic maidens, and Instagram shamans. However, the practice they offer is not equivalent to the practice of yogis.

Firstly, the practice of Instagram shamans suggests avoiding and not acknowledging troubling situations. Yet, this approach eliminates the potential for growth. From the yogi’s perspective, problems and complex situations are opportunities for personal transformation. Exploring the reasons and ways to change challenging situations is what fosters development.

Secondly, ‘here and now’ as promoted by Instagram shamans often encourages focusing on joy, satisfaction, or kindness. Rarely do they write about the necessity of focusing on other feelings such as determination, ambition, or sensuality. Suppressing any feelings, whether it’s love or ambition, leads to unhappiness.

The ‘here and now’ practice of yogis shatters rose-colored glasses and allows us to see reality where problems become opportunities for transformation and various feelings are equally important for being happy.

Daria Antonenko, Instructor of the ‘Yogis Without Borders’ Team