I don’t think in my own case, there is a straight trajectory to becoming still. For me, it is a series of fits and starts and just as I think I got it, I don’t have it. But each and every time that I touch the stillness (which I believe is my true essence, akin to divinity) however brief, a seed is planted and nourished.
This for me is why restorative yoga is so powerful. You are literally still with only the breath to move in and out. There is no physical movement, no moving in and out of the pose, and even with the careful propping that you get, usually no physical discomfort that requires you to move. The stillness seeps in through the cracks, the habitual ways we think, we move, we act and behave. A consistent practice enables the stillness to present itself much more frequently and remain a little longer.
Growing a garden takes time, patience, effort and diligence. It also takes the ability to let go when the seeds you planted don’t grow the way you wanted them to and try again. Have you begun planting your seeds?
Humming (Brahmari) or Buzzing Bee Breath
- Excellent for speeding up the healing of body tissues
- Alleviates stress and tension, anger, anxiety, asthma, insomnia, and high blood pressure
- Strengthens the voice and relieves thyroid ailments
- Benefits are enhanced when practiced after Nadi Shodhana
- Balance air and ether, especially in the vata Fall season (Ayurvedic)
- Sit comfortably, with lips closed and teeth slightly opened. Make sure the jaw is relaxed.
- Raise the arms to the sides, bend the elbows, and bring the hands to the ears, plugging the ears with the index or middle fingers.
- Bring the awareness to the center of the head (ajna chakra) and keep the body still.
- Inhale through the nose, and while exhaling make a deep, steady humming sound like a bee for the duration of the exhale.
- Then, while inhaling, contract the throat to produce a humming sound on inhalation (if this sound is difficult to make at first, focus only on producing the sound while exhaling).
- Practice 5 rounds, ending with a humming exhale.
Straddle Forward Fold (option for folding over chair, couch, bench)
Benefits: calming, gently stretches lower back, nice transition from the days activities. A good pose to do if you need a few minutes break from your daily work, easy to do and easily accessible. Good for headaches. Breathing is easier since muscles of the respiratory system are relaxed.
Props: blankets, bolster