Start A Daily Stillness Practice And Succeed (part 1):

by Carole Fogarty

“When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself.  When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world”  Eckhart Tolle

Stillness offers a precious moment in our day that is very nurturing and deeply healing.  Particularly when practiced regularly.   It provides the time and space for any scattered and restless energies within us to settle, followed by a feeling of calm clarity to rise to the surface.

Stillness can re-teach us the art of listening to our bodies.  It’s all too easy with the demanding distractions of the external world to become ungrounded, lose a connection with who we are and ignore the needs of our body.

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I truely believe that regular moments of stillness is essential (for all of us) to maintain our energy levels and sanity in such a busy, rushed and fast paced world.  There must be balance in our day of “energy out” and “energy in”, between yin (quiet) and yang (busy).   There are consequences to constant busyness and the continuous giving out of energy.

Start small with 60 seconds of stillness:

Sitting still for 60 seconds can be extremely challenging ( at first ) as your body wants to fidget, scratch, wiggle, twitch, complain, crave stimulation or look for distractions.  Being still is a learned skill, so be patient with yourself.

Start small with 60 seconds, and add to that, as you are able to settle your energies more easily and go for longer periods.

There are many ways to enjoy a stillness practice:

A stillness practice is simply you turning your awareness inwards.  It’s you hanging out with you.  Being still ( without being entertained ), calming everything down for a brief moment or longer, and connecting with your whole being.

In part two of my stillness series (next week) I’ll be sharing a variety of ways that you can enjoy stillness.  In the meantime here’s a couple you might like to start with.

* Sit, close your eyes, rest your hands on your belly and simply follow your breath.  You can do this now at your desk, in the car before you drive away, prior to eating a meal or before you get out of bed.  Continue until you feel a little or a lot stiller on the inside.

* Restorative yoga has many wonderful poses that are ideal for more lengthy stillness practices.  Here’s a few of my favourite  “legs up the wall” and “childs pose“.

* Alternate nostril breathing – simply by practising a few rounds of alternate nostril breathing (pranayama) for a few minutes each day, you can help restore any imbalances in your brain.  You can improve sleep, encourage a calmer emotional state, boost your thinking power and soothe your nervous system.

Click here to learn how to do alternate nostril breathing:

Tips to help you succeed at a daily stillness practice:

1:  Decide when you want to do it:

Choose a time of the day you feel would best work for you and then stick to it – even if its only for a few minutes. It might be once a day or every time you get into the car, sit down at your desk or eat a meal.

2: Choose your stillness practice.

Choose the type of stillness practice that you feel would work best for you.  I’ll be sharing more practices next week in part two of my stillness series.

3: Select where you want to do it:

Decide where you want to practice stillness.  Inside or outside. On the couch, against the wall, on your yoga mat, under a tree, in the car, or on the bed.

4:  Add dash of calm to support stillness:

Do whatever triggers relaxation for you.  Spray your aura with a rescue remedy or flower essences (such as calm and clear mist), burn incense,  light a candle, burn essential oils,  or sit  next to an image of budhha or quan yin.

5:  Start with an easy and do-able amount of time:

If 3 minutes of sitting still sends your body crazy with fidgety restless movements then start with an easy 30 seconds.  Master 30 seconds then move one to 1 minute when you are able to settle your energies more easily move onto 2 minutes.

6:  Eliminate distractions:

Of course it goes without saying to turn off the technology.  Phone, mobiles, etc even if you are only being still for 60 seconds.

Drink water beforehand, have a snack if you are hungry.  Eliminate any possible distractions that your body may come up with as an excuse to not sit still.

7:  Do it the same time everyday:

Research has shown you are more likely to succeed at a new habit if you do it first thing in the morning or at the very least the same time every day.  So strengthen your chances of succeeding by practicing stillness the same time/times everyday.

Part two:  The many ways to enjoy a stillness practice:

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I use and love Ananga’s  guided meditations and music

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