can you find stillness and not stiffness?

Can you find stillness in your life and not stiffness? It is during the most challenging times in life that we test this theory out.  But we can teach ourselves to do it the right way, with softness.

Yoga is a great place to work on this.  Some yoga classes are all about moving fluidly with your watery nature, and like a dance you find your way to a place of balance.  This feels great and can also help us flow better with life, learning to move with what we are dealt and become one with it.

Life, however, deals us chaos and challenge sometimes.  A challenging yoga class can help you mimic this challenge and give you the chance to relax into it and come out ahead of the game with your head on your shoulders.

A serious Ashtanga yoga class can be a place to find stillness and calm.  When the teacher instructs with their voice or their rhythm to be serious, can you allow yourself to find softness in the strength?  This is important, especially in your neck and trapezius muscles that support your neck — a common place to hold tension.  Can you find the perfect balance between expansion and contraction of your muscles so that the end result is soft and still?  If you cannot, your yoga could be harming you.

Can you find this perfect balance in your mind?  In your spirit?  It takes a lot of patience to traverse your oceans of time…

Now, let’s talk about other activities such as surfing.  Surfing requires a lot of focus on paddling and learning how to ride nature’s gem: the ocean.  She is pure fluid.  Can you find the strength in your muscles to protect you, fuel you, and help you get the most enjoyment possible, while still remaining soft and fluid, especially in the back of your neck?

What about sitting at your computer doing a simple physical act of typing, while heavily and emotionally involved in your topic.  Are you able to sit in balance?  What if you are in the physical presence of a person who makes you feel insane?  Are you able to stay balanced, soft and supple?

Are you able to take a step back and feel your tension and then remember that the key lies in softening, not in tension that only feeds anger?  It is easier said than done. But eventually it can be a natural response.

Life is a journey.  Yoga and other mindful activities can be a container for this journey. Having said that, your yoga practice can be a spiritual/psyche container while you are on your mat, and it can be a phenomenal experience at that!  🙂   But ultimately, you CAN take your yoga into your life and really live it and be real with it……

Be real.  It is the answer.  Learn to live your life in stillness, despite chaos.

silence is a source of great strength
~ Lao Tzu ~

© r.e.l. 9/15/10

a stress free life

Do you wake in the morning and tell yourself that today will be the day that you will really take your health to another level? One idea to ponder is why you would wait. Any moment can be a time to set your intention. You might wait because you are too stressed at the idea of changing.

A healthy life makes you feel great but activities that drive our personalities can interfere with health, some of which feed addictive behaviors, stress, overindulgence or even laziness. Although we all mean well and fully intend to do what our heart tells us to do, is following every inclination at every moment actually following your heart and acting with your best health in mind?

There are many different facets included in health. Those that require motivation for some of you such as diet, exercise and mind-calming activities are part of it, but if you are stressed about the plan you have for yourself or the goal you wish to achieve, then maybe you are going about it in the wrong way for you.

If your plan is to drastically cut out all of the poison in your life all at once, and trade it for regimented goodness, and this makes you crazy in your mind, then perhaps there is a better solution for you.

We are talking about your body, mind, heart and spirit. A plan for health needs to include each or else a part of you will attack the plan, so to say, and never start, or fulfill a part of it while another part becomes detrimental to your health.

Stress can eat away at your insides and definitely shows on the outside, so you can’t hide from it and you can’t hide it from others. What is most important is your internal appearance, which if nurtured, reflects to your whole being.

How about starting out slowly to come to terms with what will truly work for you. Spend a day alone dedicated completely to yourself simply to form your plan.

  • Drink a lot of water to hydrate and cleanse your system removing toxins.
  • Alkalinize a stressed body by nurturing yourself with foods that will increase your acidic pH such as lemon in your water, avocado, grapefruit and most greens to name a few.  This will leave you with more vibrancy and mental clarity.
  • Try to move slowly through your day paying attention to your feet on the ground as you move — preferably barefooted.
  • Yoga, pranayama breathing, meditation and music can assist you greatly in your effort.
  • Go for a walk along the beach and listen to the ocean waves soothe your soul and perhaps give you answers.

Slowly without trying you will find yourself formulating the formula for your stress free life. Keep a journal handy and write down whatever inspires you. If you’re lucky you’ll end the day with a wise mantra, a list or even a heart-opening poem. Without even knowing it you’ll probably feel a connection with your spirit and life force.

At this point, you will know what you need to do, and will do it with ease in a way which supports your life customized to you.

One final hint: don’t tell anyone your grand plan. You are doing this for yourself, not for anyone else 🙂  Others will notice the new you emanating from the old you in no time…

Namaste.

© r.e.l. 7/10/10