Have you seen the windmills when they are spinning so fast that you can’t even notice they are moving? They spinning so fast that they appear motionless. When I think about stillness I imagine something that is moving with lots of energy and life, but at the same time you don’t realize that it is moving. One thing is stillness and the other is motionless isn’t it? Stillness is dynamic. And when I think of stillness in myself, I describe it as being fully in the present moment, enjoying the food that is in my mouth, the smell around me, the sensation in my hands, my breath, the music, feeling with all my heart in whatever I am doing.
But most of the time, we are moving without being centered in the present moment, we might be moving and thinking in one hundred things at the same time and stillness is not there, maybe most of the time we are not in peace or experience stillness, most of the time we are not centered. The truth is that we don’t know our own nature, we don’t know who we really are and we are more connected with the society and what they expect from us. We tend to be more connected with others needs, and with the outside world. We have never stayed long enough just with ourselves in order to know ourselves; we are not used to being “home” where we truly belong.
Yoga is a way of moving into stillness to experience the truth of who you are. Whether you are in savasana or in a posture using all your energy, all your strength and willpower to be there, you are still, you are present finding your inner stillness. For me yoga is a way of learning to be centered in action so I can have a clearest perspective on what’s happening and are therefore able to respond most appropriately. And once you see the world with your own stillness everything seems to be so different, you get to appreciate more the little things, your breath, every little movement of your body, and even you get to appreciate the uncomfortable situations.
So every time I think of stillness in myself I think it is about being with ME in order to know myself. To be awake and be able to relax, to be able to stop every thought, to stop judgments or conditions I have learnt from society, just to simply pay attention to the sensations in my body and to enjoy sensation of being alive.
Yoga is that sacred space where we can connect with who we are, without that chatter of the mind, without what others expect from us. During yoga classes we begin to connect with our bodies, learning to move them, which I think is the first step to find stillness in the mind, once we learn to move our bodies we begin to find our breath and make the connection movement-breath. This is not an easy task, but once we are connected with our bodies and breath we begin to find that inner stillness, and slowly with every breath we begin to peel our ego away, we begin to find our own self. Once the bodies hit savasana in the classes we might have that nice sensation of stillness, of being home without all the distractions of the outside world. That feeling when all those thoughts stop and there is just you, your breath, and heartbeat.
That’s why I love the windmills, somehow I see them and think how they need lots of energy to move and be still at the same time. Might be they have different colors but once they begin to move super fast the eyes just appreciate one color; the most vibrant and bright one, that is our inner self; that bright color that shines when we are in stillness with all our energy revolving at the same time.
photo credit: Richard Walker
more at: www.richardwalkerphotography.co.uk