By now, you have surely heard us ask you to hold stillness in the postures–and in the moments between the postures. The stillness is very important. If you carefully cultivate it on an every-day basis, it will be there to help you when you need it most. In your most challenging moments, both in the hot room and outside of it.
“Strive to increase discipline and order in your life. Discipline usually means doing the opposite of what you feel like doing. Life’s easy when you live it the hard way…and hard if you try to live it the easy way…” D. Kekich
What stillness does
When you release a posture and come to stillness, “most of the motor neurons that innervate the skeletal muscles are still firing nerve impulses, but (if you maintain stillness) your breathing gradually becomes even and regular, and the number of nerve impulses per second to your muscles starts to drop. If you are an expert in relaxation, within a minute or two the number of nerve impulses to the hands and toes goes to zero. Within five minutes, the neuronal input to your arms and legs diminishes and also approaches zero. Normal breathing (through the nose) lulls you into even deeper relaxation, finally minimizing nerve impulses to the deep muscles of the torso. Pain is not registered from any part of the body. This is ideal.”
“What exactly do you do to quiet the activity of the motor neurons? Don’t move. Even the thought of movement or of responding to some sensory stimulus results in neuronal activity which cascades throughout the system and sabotages relaxation.” Anatomy of Hatha Yoga
The tedious work of resisting the urge to wipe, scratch, adjust, drink or fidget can pay off in huge ways.
In high-stakes business negotiations, when you are able to recognize and control your careening emotions.
In the face of personal tragedy, when grief threatens to overwhelm and swallow you whole.
Even better, with time and practice, you will find yourself pausing to notice the most joyful moments in your life–and appreciating them more.
We understand that your practice is a very personal journey. We strive to provide an environment that allows you to examine these ideas when you are ready–and to accept or reject them, as you see fit.