stillpoint yoga

yoga meditation and philosophy with Lynn Fraser
in the Himalayan Tradition of H.H. Sri Swami Rama


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        Winter 2004 Week 1


This week – observe the relative state of stillness in your body several times a day. When you notice you are moving the body with agitation or jerkiness or making unnecessary motions, take a moment to notice the breath and the thoughts in the mind. Make a mental note on what you observe. Now sit upright, exhale and relax the body. Follow the smooth flow of the breath from nostrils to navel and back for 2 minutes. Allow the breath to flow evenly without any breaks or jerkiness.

Answer the following journal questions:

1.  What did observe about stillness in my body this week? What was going on in my body, breath and mind when I wasn’t still? What was the impact of the two minute breath awareness?

2.  Read the piece below on Stillness. Write about one of the ideas and how it manifests in your life.


Reading from Philosophy of Hatha Yoga, Dr. Arya (Swami Veda)


 At a moment’s notice we should be able to be still; there should be no movement in us.  Our mind should become fixed on one point, and there should be no movement from that point.  Then we would have conquest of emotion.  A person who moves and shakes about uncontrollably is emotionally disturbed. A person who has steady emotion has a settled calm body and a steady voice.  The perfection of a posture has all these ramifications.  What is our posture like when we are walking, standing, talking at a party?  Stillness becomes artificial when it does not come from steadiness of emotions and of mind. 

The first thing we have to do is straighten our lives.  If the mind is divided four ways, the posture will be divided four ways.  The more we grow, the more we should become aware of our posture.  Let the emotions work on the posture and at the same time let the posture train the emotions.

The perfection of the posture, remember, should not be perfection of the yoga postures at the time of doing hatha.  It is the perfection of a posture throughout life and that is an indication of where one’s mind is.  The more steadiness we have in our minds, the more grace we will derive from there, and the more controlled and graceful our movement will become.

A person should work on the condition of mind that disturbs their posture.  Then the posture itself will automatically correct itself.  What is in the mind that makes a person move?

When a person has perfected their meditative asana they are no longer disturbed by pairs of opposites (like pain/pleasure).  When the axis of the spine is straight and firm and neither falls to the left nor the right, nor front nor backwards there is perfect balance.  When you have found your axis in life, it shows in your posture.  You stand firm with your body, with your emotions, and then you are not easily distracted by heat and cold or pain and pleasure or craving and satisfaction or praise and blame.   If we just force our bodies to withstand pain, we will not succeed.  It is the duality of the mind between pain and pleasure that has to be conquered, that has to be unified.  If you are torn all the time between this and that, you cannot be still for long. 

Find in the mind where the posture begins and from there send the right impulse, the right direction, and that is the perfection of the posture.  Posture is the firmness of mind, firmness of emotions, firmness of life, firmness of decision.  It is a whole body language. 

This may be helpful – Internal dialogue

 More on how to journal.