Creating Calm and Stillness in Practise
Here’s what I’m noticing…. People are busy …. People are stressed and anxious.
Most of have busy lives, we learn to juggle. Juggling family, job, relationships, social lives, housework, the list goes on. We deal with these competing priorities which in turn leaves us to deal with a certain amount of anxiety. In many ways anxiety is a constant in many peoples lives.
Unfortunately many of us ignore it, or simply accept it as a normal or unavoidable part of life, and it is not until we add extra pressure such as deadlines, renovations, visiting family and friends, children’s birthdays, relationship problems, that we start to register that stress and anxiety are affecting our lives.
Here lies the problem, stress and anxiety are often so ingrained in us that we don’t realise they are there.
Stress is a big factor for why many people come to practise yoga in the first place. They want to find a sense of peace and create a sense of calm in their lives.
Unfortunately because we can carry so much anxiety we often carry it into yoga practise with us. We worry that we aren’t doing the poses properly, we get impatient or disappointed with our abilities, we push ourselves even when we are exhausted, the mind races and so on.
Anxiety increases anxiety. If you are anxious in your practise it is not going to help you become less anxious, no matter how many times you practise.
The good news is … just as anxiety increases anxiety, calm increase calm. The more we practise calm and stillness the easier they are to access.
We can use our yoga practise to to become calmer in life. In order for our practise to be effective in creating a sense of calm off the mat we first have to create a sense of calm on the mat.
Here’s how we can achieve that:
ACCEPT – accept where and who you are in the present moment, accept the body that you have brought with you to practise
DON’T COMPARE – try not to compare yourself to the people that you share your practise/class with and don’t compare your practise to those you have done in the past
BE PRESENT – don’t worry about the past or fret about the future, know that during your time on the mat you are exactly where you need to be, doing exactly what you need to be doing in that moment
REST – take rest during your practise when needed, during home practise take a gentler practise if you are feeling tired or under the weather
BREATHE – most important of all, remember that the breath is the most important and transformative tool we have in our practise, when you are truly connected to your breath then no-one can steal you peace