“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” –Francis Bacon
Weekly Focus: Pratyahara (Sensory Control)
Winter invites us to embrace the quiet + the darkness through retreat + deep rest. Can we resist the urge to distract the mind with excess? Rather than diverting from the quietude of Winter by engaging ourselves with excess distraction and sensation (netflix + chill anyone?), we might try welcoming the hush as a time of peaceful rest. How often do we truly let our minds rest without taking in external stimuli constantly? Rejuvenate the mind with nothing at all. Notice how you feel.
Active Pose of the Week: Vrkshasana (tree pose)
Distraction can really mess with our balance — use this week’s pose + focus to stay focused on the task at hand. Tree pose is a balance, where we stand on one leg with the opposite foot pressed to the inside of the standing leg. It can be tempting, especially in a studio setting, to look around at others or keep our eyes glued on the teacher, however, humans are moving objects! The movement will distract the eye and make balance more challenging. Work to find your drishti — that non-moving point in front of you and zone-in on that point. Ignore all else around you except for the point of your gaze + the feeling of your foot on the ground. How does this effect your balance?
Passive Pose of the Week: Constructive Rest
A lovely pose to restore the body and the mind. Constructive rest can be seen as a more supported version of our savasana. When you come to lay on the ground, bring your feet to the ground and walk them about as wide as your mat, let the knees knock together forming a little “tent” shape. You can even try propping the knees with a large bolster or couch cushion for extra support. If you are a person who is drawn to background sound, perhaps try lying in this pose for 2-3 minutes in silence. You may find it hard to release distraction, but this is a practice. It might surprise you the refreshment you feel after a true, silent, rest.