Stillness - one of the pillars of yin yoga
In a yin yoga practice, I like to think about stillness as an absence of fidgeting while you’re holding a yin pose rather than a complete absence of movement. This is because some movements may be inevitable, desirable or even necessary, like gently shifting if your body opens up or changing your position or shape in response to a painful sensation. The difference between these types of movements and fidgeting is that they’re completely mindful; there’s an intention behind them and once you’ve moved, you can resolve to become still once again.
The pillar of stillness doesn’t just relate to your physical body. As your body becomes still in a yin pose, you’ll find that your breath can become calmer and quieter, less laboured and more gentle. The energy from your breathing isn’t needed to help move your body so it can become slower and deeper, but most of all it’s unforced and unhurried.
As your body and breath become still, there’s more space to observe your mind. Thoughts come and go, like clouds in the sky or waves crashing onto the shore and then receding. Over time, you might notice the clouds becoming lighter and the waves less dramatic as these more dominant thoughts begin to quieten. This can allow thoughts that don’t usually have the opportunity to rise to the surface to reveal themselves; thoughts that might be more creative or help you to solve problems. Eventually, and with commitment and dedication, as you become completely enveloped by stillness the sky emerges from behind the clouds and there’s space between the ebb and flow of the waves, even if it’s just for the briefest of moments. It’s here that deep awareness is possible.
If you can commit to becoming still, you let yourself open up to some of the many benefits that a yin yoga practice has to offer.
“Stillness is a place. You can find it in the desert or in the mountains. You can find it when you’re alone in the midst of people. You can find stillness wherever you are, whatever you’re going through.
Stillness is a place within you. Slow down. Breathe deeply. Get quiet. Become familiar with stillness. Take time to learn its power.”
Join Alison every Monday 6-7:15 for yin yoga and relaxation.