Strong Stillness

As your practice of yoga integrates itself in your body and mind, a lot changes. It is a cool journey of metamorphis while in this body. You really start to understand how everything is truly connected from the inside out. You might notice how you can intentionally slow down your heart rate, feel the subtle lengthening of a muscle take place or even mentally release a cumbersome feeling.

The skies the limit on this journey. Each practice is unique if you stay focused on what you need. Explore different ways to experience the same pose you have done a ton of times. Recently, I have really enjoyed the experience of staying in a pose for 30-60 seconds before going to the next. Try a Sun Salutation with this technique to experience strength in stillness.

You will notice that as you reach up in the beginning, you really feel the rib cage lift, the foundation of the feet ground the Earth, the arms getting longer and more. When you surrender in the forward fold, you give the spine time to open up and gravity to assist you. Staying in plank for 30-60 seconds engages all the muscles and builds strength and determination. Each pose has its own unique components that you might not have noticed when you did it a flow mode.

Interestingly enough also, your heat builds up pretty quickly. As a teacher, it is fun to see the amazement on the student's faces that they are getting hot by being still! The ebb and flow of engaged poses to disengaged poses is a great practice for the mind. It increases awareness of what is going on with the bones, muscles and ligaments when activated. Then, you get the gift of what it feels like to physically surrender. The physical experience helps the mind learn how to do the same.

A regular yoga practice will lead you to new edges of skill as seen on paper or pictures. However, the best of benefits cannot be seen...but, felt. It won't only be what you feel changing; but, it will change how people feel around you. The peace, contentment of the present, and more flexible approach to challenges will be silently sensed. More people need to feel the ability to let their defenses down. Living in fear that is exponentially expanded by the media is showing its effects. Share your energy of love without conditions.

Consider your yoga practice a contribution to building a stronger world. It is a quiet act, yet a powerful one. The ripple effect of kindness, patience, and unexpected kindness (karma) is profound. Practice becoming strong in stillness. It takes effort and focus to be still...physically and mentally. Just know that it won't take long for you to see, feel, and understand what is changing...and those around you as well.
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