“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” – Ram Dass
I follow a company on Facebook called My Yoga Online. This week they posed a question to everyone: What lessons or inspirations have you learned this week, on or off the mat?
One of the first comments spoke to me deeply, it said: “got a wonderful reminder from a fellow yogi that to be authentic to your inner wellness, you sometimes need to say ‘no’ graciously.” I just loved it. Be authentic to your inner wellness. So simple, and so difficult.
Other comments were about a need/desire to stay committed to a yoga practice, moving slowly and appreciating life, and finding balance. One woman found out this past week that her 7 year old daughter has cancer….she wrote about turning fear into strength, and turning lonliness into “alone time.”
Lessons and inspirations…where do they come from and where do they end up? Is there anything we can do to allow ourselves to be more open to being inspired? Or understanding and integrating a lesson or inspiration into our lives? I believe there is.
One of the greatest gifts yoga brings is awareness. As we begin a yoga practice, we become quiet and turn our attention inward. Our senses linking us with the external world withdraw and we become attuned to our internal processes and sensations. This creates awareness of the state of our mind, and body. We learn about the nature of our thoughts and feelings, and the sensations and imprints they leave within us. We become aware of the sensation of balance and quiet peace, even if it is only for a brief time during svasana (relaxation pose) at the end of the class. We begin to hear the subtle whispers of our authenticity – we have become more aware.
This awareness spills over into our lives off our yoga mats and into the real world. We notice inclings, and spidey senses. We feel when things aren’t right, and when they are. We can sense when we are out of balance, and when our lives are healthy and grounded. This is where our lessons and inspirations are hidden. In those times when we say, “I won’t do that again.” Or, “wow, that made me feel great.” We learn what we need, when we need it, because we are paying attention.
So, as Ram Dass says, “The quieter you become, the more you hear.” Be silent and listen.
As we live life – coping with joy and loss we open ourselves up to all sorts of lessons, inspirations, of both the good and bad variety. Yoga gives us a tool to “go inside” and integrate what we need to integrate to create authenticity of our experiences and inner wellness.
Paschimottana (seated forward bend) is a pose that encourages introspection and reflection. It mimics “turning inward” upon oneself, thereby fostering internal awareness and surrender. Some benefits include, resting and massaging the heart, soothing the adrenal glands, improving the digestive system, and calming and quietening the mind.
This pose can be done in a more supportive and restorative way, by supporting the head on cushions or on a chair.
Another type of forward bend which is less intense of a stretch for the back of the body, is childs pose.
So next time you notice something that calls your attention – really pay attention. Go inside and listen.