10 Feb

Find Your Stillness

Dear Friends,

Here’s a thought I’d like to share

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity, and vibrantly alive in repose.”

Indira Gandhi

When your body is tranquil, you will know bliss.  Because you are blissful, your mind will concentrate easily.  Being concentrated, you will see things as they really are.  In so seeing, you will become aware that life is a miracle.” ~ Buddha</i>
 These two quotes remind me that I must intimately know and frequently visit the place of stillness inside of me.  It is only when I connect to that stillness that I truly empty out and become ready to be filled again.  When my mind is running, my body can absolutely still, and yet I do not rest.  When my mind is still, I can be busy doing all manner of things without feeling overwhelmed or stressed.  When my mind is still AND I still my body…ahhh…deep, restorative rest is so available.   Although many people scoff at the idea of meditation, sitting still and focusing on the stillness within can bring about a renewed energy and readiness to live life to the fullest.  Yoga is a practice of moving toward stillness.   After a vigorous yoga practice, lying down on your back with arms at your sides, palms turned up, legs straight and feet gently turned out (Savasana pose) feels wonderful.  It’s easy to let your mind relax, because you have spent the practice time connecting mind and body.  The body relaxes, so the mind relaxes.  At that point, it is easier to allow your mind to concentrate on relaxation and nothing else.  With a focused mind, all the peripheral “stuff” falls away and you open to the “grace” of life.  When we are still, or in Buddha’s word – “tranquil,” we feel gratitude in our hearts.  Gratitude leads us to the awareness of the miracle that this human experience, this life, truly is.   Yoga isn’t the only path to this stillness; it’s just one of MY personal favorites.

Wishing you stillness,

Namaste,

Augusta
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Originally Published February 10, 2010

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03 Feb

Open Up To Your Heart-Space

Dear Friends,

Here’s a thought I’d like to share

The other day I was talking with my Yoga Assisted Therapy group about creating “space” in our hearts so that we can access our compassion and receptivity.  From this space we can respond instead of react and we can then maintain our balance or center.  During the meditation time, I was guiding them to become aware of the space inside their hearts, to let the ego fall away for a moment and feel the space that remains.  After meditation, we wrote in our journals about our experience of “heart-space.Here’s what I wrote:

Heart-space – it’s there.  It’s already there.  We can fall into it, open up to it, become aware of it or lose sight of it, but it’s there.  We wish for it, even long for it, or suffer for the perceived lack of it – but it’s already there.  We struggle with constriction and tightness and feel like there’s not even space enough to breathe, but space IS there.  It’s already there.</i> <i>Look for it.  Allow it.  Open to it.  Breathe into it.  Invite it.  Know it.  It’s already there.    Trust it’s already there.”

When I read back over what I wrote, I was struck by how much I work at creating space in my heart, but how I really only need to open to it – not  create it.  Often I tell people that yoga is not something we achieve, but rather it is something we allow.  Access to the “heart-space” that exists inside each of us and is the common denominator of all of us is like that too – we have to allow it, not achieve it.  It’s already there, we just have to open up to it and trust ourselves enough to do so.  So try it.  Breathe deeply and look inward.  Take on the feeling of awe in your heart and feel the expansive nature of your being.  Experience “heart-space.” Wishing you the willingness to open to your heart-space.

Shhhhhh, Listen

Namaste,

Augusta
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Originally Published February 3, 2010

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