Thursday, March 07, 2013

how to be calmly active and actively calm

Words to soothe your body, mind, and heart this March by the awesome Laura Whitaker. We just love her.
"You must be calmly active and actively calm. Be intensely aware of everything you are doing." -Yogananda
I think this quote basically sums up what we're constantly evolving toward in yoga. Well, to be honest, I think that about almost every great inspiring quote I read :) But seriously, this is a good one, and it served as inspiration for my classes this week. 
Just think about it: 
When you're calmly active on the mat, you flow mindfully from pose to pose. Transitions come with {the intention of} grace. When a pose feels completely overwhelming, you try to reign in your ego, settle your mind's chattering, and simply be in the pose to the best of your ability in that moment.
So how can you bring this calm action off the mat?
When you are busy running from place to place and moving from task to task, slow down, notice, and appreciate each little (or big) "to-do" as it's happening. Move from place to place with grace and peace. Stay aware of your stress level and attempt to create positive energy not only for yourself, but for the people you cross paths with, too. 
Active does not have to be synonymous with hectic.
When you're actively calm on the mat, you simply watch your breath as it moves through your body. You check in with sensations you feel in your body while you're centering. You are aware of the length of your breath and the energy moving through your limbs immediately following savasana.
When you step off the mat and into your day, you can maintain this sense of active calmness. When you have that moment of peace, soak it up with awareness and gratitude. Notice the slowing of your breath and the relaxation of your muscles as you crawl into bed at night.
To me, active calmness means we don't let our monkey minds control our thoughts. We can stay calm by actively telling our mind we'd rather focus on our breath, our body, or the thoughts that are serving us in a positive way.
If you're calm, it doesn't have to mean you're being lazy, inattentive, or passive.
May your March be filled with a happy balance of calmness and action. And lots of yoga both on and off the mat!

No comments: