Posted by: Bruce Black | July 23, 2008

Just sitting

Our lives are so busy, so rushed. Sometimes it’s hard to find a moment to sit still.

It’s one of the reasons that I love yoga. The moment I unroll my mat and sit down, the strains of my day seem to melt away. (Writing in my journal provides the same sanctuary from the daily rush of life.)

But sometimes just sitting isn’t easy.

Even though I’ve set my foundation and closed my eyes, my thoughts may keep racing, speeding ahead to what I have planned for the rest of the day, or back-tracking to what I might have done differently yesterday or the day before.

On those days it’s often hard to still my thoughts, to let my mind slow down and sink into the present moment.

In my journaling, I find it helps to start by noticing the world around me–the clouds racing above me, the birds screeching in the woods, the steady hum of an air conditioner next door.

From the outside world I start to move inward, noting if my breath is relaxed or rushed, if my posture is tense or at ease, if I find my thoughts returning to the same image, the same worry, the same thought.

Just sitting helps still the mind if you give your mind a chance to settle.

For that to happen, you have to give yourself permission to let go of the business of the world. You have to want to immerse yourself in the stillness of the present moment.

My favorite sitting position is Sukasana. I sit down on the mat, cross my legs, lift my spine, and let my hands rest lightly on my knees. But there are many other sitting poses that I hope to explore.

Whatever seated pose you prefer, I hope it helps you reach that stillness within.

Journal practice: Do you find it hard or easy to sit for more than a minute or two? What pulls you out of the moment? What draws you in? Experiment with different sitting positions. (You can check out http://www.thesecretsofyoga.com/basic-sitting-poses.html to explore a variety of seated poses.) Then open your journal and describe how you felt in each pose, comparing one to another.

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