Be still and know: Principles and practice

Be still and know Be open to the space.  Touch the earth.  Be grounded.

Sunday morn20150222_083042ing began in stillness and quiet. I arrived at the Alabama Ballet early because I had allowed extra time to navigate the Mercedes Marathon route if needed. I sat in a quiet studio as others began to wander in for the morning session with Rolf Gates.  I had not originally planned on coming for the Sunday morning session but Saturday was quite amazing and I knew I needed to return.

Two days of yoga practice and learning have fed my soul and spirit.  The messages that Rolf  Gates delivered through his teachings and stories affirmed, once again,  that I need to be using talents that I am not currently using in my work. The weekend affirmed that I do know what I need to do, but that I must wait to know the complete story. That may take a while longer. 20150221_131054

To make more sense of this, let me try to explain a few things.  Over the weekend I attended three sessions, each one contained teaching and practice. On Saturday morning we listened to Rolf’s teaching on knowing and on completing. The world  is full of distractions and clutter  If we take the time to touch the earth, be grounded, be present, we gain wisdom. When we are sitting, know we are sitting.  When we are breathing, know we are breathing. Listen to the end of the sound of the bell, not just the beginning or middle.  Take the time for a sound or an action to be complete.  The afternoon focused on the chakras and the way to sequence a class to open up each chakra in turn. On Sunday Rolf turned to compassion and fearlessness.  We need to see clearly, meet life with compassion, and respond with kindness.

These lessons make more sense of that practice I have been developing since fall.  Kim has been teaching me patience with setting up my poses, making sure I am aligned and teaching me the slight adjustments that often make the biggest difference.  She has also been teaching me to complete poses.  Don’t stop in the middle.  The sequencing made so much sense to me as I listened and then as we went through practice.  The order in which we open up our body makes such a difference in the way we practice and in the way we move from one set of poses to another.

Practice challenged me.  I have not found my balance in many poses yet but I am working on it. I tried, though, and did not quit even though I needed to take a few breaks and rest.  I still feel challenged when I talk about my yoga practice.  It is not like the triathlon world I have been in for the past four years where improvement is the main goal.  But going deeper into poses, being able to remain in poses, and noticing my own progress is part of it for me. Finishing a pose is also important but it seems different to me than crossing a finish line. I am not sure I can quite explain that at the moment.  I noticed progress this weekend that anyone else would not easily see – except Kim, my teacher. My heels are a little closer to the ground in down dog.  I moved another step towards a back bend.  I tried poses I didn’t think I could do and was able to do some.  My mind is still making the switch from the race goal mentality to the mindfulness that accompanies yoga practice. I continue to be patient with myself and aware of how far I can push my body

I found it ironic that this morning was the Mercedes Half Marathon, a race that had been on my list and is now the furthest thing from my mind.  I realized that today begins Licensing School as well, again where I thought I would I be for a week. My story has shifted though.  As I looked back over several months of entries I note that I have written a lot about not knowing – not knowing what is coming, where I will be, what will happen next.  I don’t know. I only really know this moment.  But I do know my passions and the desires of my heart, and I have for quite a long time.  I know that I am in a place for a reason, even if I cannot see it clearly at the moment.  This weekend showed me the intersections of story, health and wellness again that I have been contemplating for sometime.  I do see something new coming together that will lead me on a different path than I am on now. I just need to continue being patient, remember to touch the ground, be still and know.


About millie jackson

I am a librarian, a yoga teacher, a storyteller, an athlete.
This entry was posted in challenges, change, choices, home, passion, Rolf Gates, yoga and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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