We can practice yoga by simply sitting in stillness. This is your inner posture.
—Calm App Reflection
Image from Unsplash by Tadeusz Lakota
In my early forties, I attended yoga classes at my local fitness center every Friday and Sunday morning.
I had heard the praises of this practice and yet I always felt I was missing the full value it claimed to offer. I found a good number of poses very challenging and I was clearly not a Gumby when asked to bend and fold by the instructor.
I even had difficulty on most occasions focusing on my breath without my mind racing off in a multitude of directions which often included an unhealthy dose of inner critic.
In more recent years, through my meditation efforts and other forms of eastern movement, I have discovered my inner yoga posture simply by sitting in stillness.
How could bringing more stillness into your life offer you many of yoga’s benefits without getting bent out of shape?
“If you add a little to a little, and then do it again, soon that little shall be much.”
—Hesiod, ancient Greek poet
I recently reviewed Stillness is the Key by Ryan Holiday. During the COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, I wanted to feel that doing what appeared to be little or even nothing might prove beneficial beyond saving myself or others from exposure to the virus.
Ryan recommends little steps of stillness related to the domains of body, mind, and spirit. His examples include the story of Winston Churchill taking up bricklaying during a very demanding time of intense work and stress. The slow process of mixing mortar and stacking bricks was just the thing he needed to keep his body busy while allowing his mind to unwind.
Where might the process of introducing small mind, body, or spiritual activities/rituals to your day result in much more than you might expect?
Feel free to reply to this post with the practices that work best for you.
“Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found.”
—Echart Tolle, Author of A New Earth
Image from Unsplash by Lee Campbell
One of my favorite books is Seven Thousand Ways to Listen by Mark Nepo. How many ways can you think of to listen? The point to Nepo’s title is perhaps what Deepak Chopra describes as “Living the Questions of Life” and their ability to move you into the sacred answers of your authentic self.
With this in mind, the practice of being still, quiet, and more patient with life seems to be solid strategy to letting creativity blossom, and to let the answers to life’s questions and problems reveal themselves.
Where and in what ways can you bring greater stillness into your world? How could this boost your creative efforts? How could it solve a few of those pesky problems that present themselves as you rush through your day?
“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat any time, and be yourself.”
—Hermann Hesse, 20th Century German Novelist
Image from Unsplash by Mitchell Griest
Our five sense give us amazing capacities to experience the world around us. Take a moment to grasp the miracles of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.
In many ways, we live in an over-stimulated society. The potential and actual input overloads our senses to the point of considerable stress and a loss of well-being.
Recently, I have begun removing some stimuli from my world in order to explore added stillness and peacefulness.
Where would taking a “Less is More” approach to life help you discover more moments of stillness and inner sanctuary?