Sometimes, it’s hard to slow down.
Life is busy, and if you’re anything like me, taking a break can be difficult. We have work, friends, partners, chores, errands, exercise…the list goes on. Where does sitting down fit into this? It doesn’t, unless it’s sitting down in front of the tv or the computer, or unless you make time for it. It’s a hard task sometimes. I’ve been trying to stick to an exercise routine that includes yoga and running (because apparently I’ve decided to become a runner now) and I’ve recently been thinking about how little I am actually still. Really, truly still. At work (40-50 hours a week) I chase after an army of toddlers all day. I come home and it’s cooking and cleaning and maybe tv but even while watching tv I’m writing or crocheting or working on a sequence or on my phone…I know I’m not alone here. We have become so accustomed to multitasking and turning it into a “skill” that it’s becoming hard to to actually focus on one task. Even as I write this I’m trying not to get up to wash dishes or check my phone or go look up carrot recipes.
This past week I’ve been sick and dealing with extremely tight shoulders and therefore have been “forced” to take rest. Isn’t it funny how we can declare ourselves a “rest” day and be content, but when we are forced by sickness or injury to “take it easy” it is suddenly this annoying, frustrating ordeal? I don’t want to rest my shoulders or take naps. I want to work on arm balances and go running. *Cue whiny voice.* For me, yoga has mainly been all about the asanas (poses), and my past attitude has reflected this. If I’m unable to practice asanas as I’d like, how can I maintain my daily yoga practice? Apparently I’ve disregarded the obvious fact that practicing yoga is not exclusively tied to one’s asana practice.
Back to stillness.
After some recent reflection, it really hit me that I am uncomfortable being still. This is probably one of the most important realizations I’ve had about myself in a while. I struggle in Savasana (Corpse Pose), in meditation, even in bubble baths because I’m so used to doing that simply being is still foreign to me. In theory, I understand and believe in it whole-heartedly. Now I have to work on putting the theory of being still, of being in the moment, into practice.
A few weeks ago I was watching one of Kathryn Budig’s (one of the women who most inspire me) classes on Yogaglo.com and these words of hers really stuck with me:
“When you’re working on strength…strength doesn’t necessarily mean you can hold Warrior II for five minutes. It also means you can sit still for five minutes. And often that is the bigger challenge.”
So my friends, let’s work on finding the strength in stillness. It is within us. We are warriors. We can do anything.
Thanks Sarah Richards as usual for being perfect and always knowing exactly my vision!
To get into Hero Pose (shown above):
Come to kneeling, knees about hip-width apart. Move your ankles a little more than hip-width apart, with the tops of your feet resting on the ground. Sit your bum in between your heels and adjust accordingly. IF THIS HURTS and you’re shaking your head going what the hell…put a block, a blanket, a pillow…whatever, and rest it under your buttasana to elevate and hopefully make the pose more accessible. Rest your hands on your legs, in your lap, in front of your heart or in a mudra and just breathe. Relax. Rejoice in a few minutes of stillness, of not rushing about from place to place or mindlessly scrolling through social media, or stressing about every single little aspect of your day. Breathe. Be. Smile.
Namaste Darlings and Happy First Day of Spring!