Moving into Stillness

“Yoga is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who you are.” Erich Schiffman

As we head towards the Winter equinox and deeper into the dark and coldness, the internal shift of emphasis that accompanies this, that of inner reflection (Yin qualities) and contemplation, can often feel at odds with the outer calling for more action and work (especially in the busy run up to the festive season!).

The Moving into Stillness workshop is an invitation for us to delve more deeply inside ourselves, to move more intuitively through flowing sequences that connect us deeply with our breath. This deep internal focus will help us to forget about the technicalities associated with the poses, how to move in and out of them, allowing ourselves to sink deeply into our own bodies, enabling us to be more present, to notice and savour every part of the movement journey, both into and out of the pose rather then just rushing into the pose itself…. So the movements become like a meditation in action.

Moving into stillness will give us time to explore what is going on inside the body moving through fluid movements and flowing sequences to move us into stillness.

“… And all movement is wrapped up in stillness.  It is only noise, distraction, chattering mind and confusion that tell us otherwise… ” 

“But we should also revere silence, and listen to it.  We can find rest in movement.  We should recognize the oxymoron of the awe-some world in which stillness is never really still, infinity is immediate, and words don’t say anything at all.”

“To practice in this way is to be lulled, to let the breath and the moving become a lullaby and the brain become mesmerized and swooned.  There is sinking, falling in, surrender…”

Extracts taken from returnyoga.org – to read in full click here: http://www.returnyoga.org/2012/07/15/moving-into-still/

This more Yin style of yoga is perfect for the time of year as we approach winter, and if we extend this view of the cycles of nature to include the cycles a woman experiences every month then there is a definite stage of each monthly cycle which corresponds to that of Winter; this is seen as the menstrual bleed time each month. Alexandra Pope explains it in an article on her website Women’s Quest from which I have extracted some info below. http://www.womensquest.org/Articles/Details/period_pain_menstrual_health

“In fact, the ebb and flow of the cycle is so strong it can be compared to the seasons.

Although the timing of each of Pope’s menstrual phases or ‘seasons’ is approximate, the four phases are generally fairly easy to pinpoint once you start to chart your cycle, says the author and facilitator, who suffered from severe endometriosis for many years… 

In a separate extract from the article she states: 

“Women who don’t understand the shifts in their cycle and its effects tend to be unnecessarily hard on themselves.

“You expect yourself to be the same as you were in previous phases and you are not. This phase is quite a creative time, it’s also a good time to polish up your work so if you know what is going on you can capitalise on it.”

If your energy levels are low and you feel less able to put yourself out, don’t force yourself.

Around day 26 or so, she says, expect to move into the menstrual phase, or ‘winter’.

“This is the chill-out time. Although you cannot control what you do at work, you can control other aspects of your life, so lighten your load where you can.”

Instead of forcing yourself through your normal chores, step back and take things slowly.

“If you slow down you will feel more of a sense of letting go. It actually makes menstruation much easier to handle if you understand that you’re meant to slow down a little.”

Cycle

“Don’t force yourself through your normal exercise regime around now. Don’t make yourself go out and socialise. Follow the pace of your body, not your head.”

If you chart your cycle over three or four months, says Pope, you will begin to see your individual pattern.

“Note what day of your cycle you are on and write down a brief explanation of your mood.”

It can make a significant difference to your life, she says, because understanding how your body works can help with symptoms such as cramps and headaches.

“The ‘winter’ phase is about letting go… A lot of women feel they’re supposed to keep going, and that there’s something wrong with them because they want to stop.”

Your menstrual cycle is also an excellent self-care tool, believes Pope, who says that once you reduce the stress in your life…

So with this in mind, Moving into stillness shall provide us with the space we need to take some time out of our busy lives to be with other women; to breathe, relax, nurture, ground and balance ourselves with the vital practices of Well Women and restorative yoga. Inviting in some much needed space and time for renewal, ensuring our energies can be restored and refocused for the rest of the year ahead.

Join me as we slow down, reflect and welcome in the blessings for the rest of year and the new year ahead… there will be treats at the end and time for a long deep relaxation to close.

 

This workshop is open to all women at all ages/ stages of life (babes in arms are welcome too!) I cannot wait, do join me ladies!