Backdrop of Stillness by Laura Rothstein

During my trip to India, I found the people of this precious country  deeply rooted and connected to this ever present and comfortable background of perfect silence and space. Things at first to me appeared, chaotic… thousands of people, taxis, little rickshaws, street markets all played into my senses being heightened and activated upon arrival. But within hours, I too felt myself slip effortlessly into this background of stillness and ease…a sense of being comfortable and content.   Amongst all the energy and activity surrounding me, I felt like I was  flowing with the universe and my perspective shifted.

Often in class, I refer to a backdrop of stillness that exist but is overlooked and easily forgotten due to our hectic and technology laden modern western society lifestyle. When we do access this expansive and quiet space a clearer perspective arises and often what we need to do(skill in action) in any given situation becomes apparent.   When we get quiet through practice  and slide into this backdrop of pure peace, our awareness is heightened so the “less obvious” is revealed which is often the root of our pain or on the  flip side the source of our joy.   Releasing  or moving through suffering and/or manifesting more joy becomes more attainable  once the underlying “source”  becomes clear with a fresh perspective.

So how do we access this back drop of stillness and  perspective  – Following are 3 method that I have found to be  practical.

  • Meditation – Sit quiet for 5 minutes a day, focus on the the inhale and exhale.  Slowly, start increasing the amount of time sitting.   Some days you may sit longer than others.   A consistent practice of any duration will help clear and quiet the mind and open the window to higher level of consciousness and wisdom.
  • Yoga Asana class – Sitting the thinking mind down and coming back into the body with breath and movement for 60- 90 minutes 2 to 3 times a week  allows us the opportunity to stay full present in midst of movement and activity.   This practice transfers off the mat easily.  Being fully present with family and friends, noticing and appreciating life as it unfolds, holding and placing our attention moment to moment on what we value are just some of the benefits I have experienced through a committed asana practice.
  • Explore nature – Have you ever noticed that when you walk through the forests, there is this subtle vibration of pure stillness.   Nature is the perfect backdrop, the more time you spend immersed in it’s beauty and prana, the more positive effects on your body, mind and spirit.

“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
Pema Chödrön

Namaste and Om Shanti – Laura


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