Stillness

 

Stillness is a hugely import concept in practicing yoga, meditation and relaxation.  By stilling the mind we can still the body and vice versus.  When practicing any of these it may be hard for someone to reach still at first.  Also it may be hard for someone to reach stillness if they haven’t experienced it.  Truly it is not that hard to reach, holding it is a bit tougher.  Stillness is that point at which you feel relaxed, comfortable and have no craving to do or move.  You are just in the moment.  You don’t even have to be completely relaxed to feel stillness.

Once you can reach a point of stillness in your meditation you can sit for longer and focus without distraction.  When practicing relaxation you can easily work towards deeper states of relaxation and relieving tension.  In yoga it will help you to find that comfortability in your poses.  Practicing stillness will also help with anxiety and the need to feed or do.  You will find that you need other things less to help you relax, like drugs, alcohol or cigarettes.

To get to a place of stillness is easy.  When sitting or lying down take 3 full deep breaths and on each exhale let go and relax into it, letting the breath fall out and holding the exhale without using any muscles.  Then breathe naturally and with each exhale try to relax a little more and holding the exhale for a few seconds.  You should feel a sinking feeling, as if you are melting.  You will feel a sense of comfort and won’t want to move.  This is stillness!

Being still is tough, sitting or lying down especially for long periods it may be a bit exhausting at first.  It is tougher when standing as well.   Just try to hold on to that even when you start to move.  This will help you understand the stillness in movement that is talked about in Tai Chi.  There is also another type of stillness in movement associated with Tai Chi or movement in general.  Imagine, your body is still except for one arm moving.  Or the opposite, the arm is still and the body moves. That is stillness in movement.

Once you can find the stillness hold it as long as you can.  If you find yourself restless, practice your breathing and come to stillness.  This is a practice that can open you up to a whole new level of relaxed while living.  Your body may be relaxed but you aren’t truly relaxed or comfortable until you find the stillness.  As a bartender or sushi chef I find this is extremely helpful.  When it gets busy and I have to move a super speeds and multitask at a quantum level I find that when I can find that stillness and relax into the movements I don’t mess up, tense up or fumble with objects which can impede my ability to perform admirably.  Just remember to breathe, stay relaxed, find the stillness and hold that form/posture if you can.

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