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    Savoring Stillness By Louise Applebome

    By Louise Applebome


    I think yoga has gained in exposure far enough by now for most people to have some awareness of its physical benefits.


    If practiced smartly, with regularity, under the tutelage of qualified instructors, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that an ongoing yoga practice builds strength, better balance, flexibility, and improved function and fitness. 


    It’s probably also fair to say people of all ages and all ability levels can practice yoga. It might be a stretch to say the spectrum of possibilities and options are endless.  But, that spectrum reaches very far and very wide.  


    Plus, poses can be modified with difficulty, pace, and depth dialed up or dialed down. And, props such as chairs, yoga blocks, and yoga straps can provide extra support and assistance when needed. Positions can be adapted to the individual. There are in-person classes and workshops, and many are taught online. 


    Yoga can be part of a physical therapy program for healing after surgery, injuries, or illness. It can help to prevent and cut down on muscle aches and pains, and ward off threats of damage and wear and tear to bodies as they age. The discipline can keep you limber enough in older age to be able to get on the ski slopes or go on a hike with confidence and proficiency. 


    A well-rounded yoga practice can help reduce tension, stiffness, and resistance in the muscles. It can also improve and enhance breathing and promote better flow of blood, breath, lymphatic, and other fluids. 

    It can improve sleep.


    Particularly as the population ages, the physical benefits of yoga are gaining greater and greater recognition and acceptance. 


    But what may still be a best-kept secret about yoga is the less measurable and tangible benefits: those related to emotions, consciousness, and the mind.  In fact, a huge reason for paying all that attention to physical fitness is so that mental and emotional equanimity can be achieved.  


    Changes/improvements/stability in the physical body are echoed in shifts in the psyche.  Changing the chemistry of the body fosters shifts in the mind. 


    Physical pain is huge. Psychic distress is, too. And the less-appreciated side of yoga (whether practicing or on the sidelines) is the one aimed at doing nothing. 


    It’s a tough concept for the ever-charging, competitive world we live in.


    But, learning to savor silence and stillness is such a great tool for finding emotional balance, loving one’s self and others, making better choices, and finding your true path. 


    Everyone carries “baggage” around.  Maybe it’s related to trauma from childhood. Maybe it’s the residue from an abusive relationship. Maybe it’s grief from loss or financial worries. Maybe you’re worried about the safety of your children and/or grandchildren. Those natural concerns have become magnified as school shootings increase in the U.S.  There are worries and woes, large and small, that follow us around and throw us out of balance and into troubled, conflicted, and unhappy waters. 


    That’s where meditation comes in. 

    That’s where silence needs to play a part.

    That’s where it can be life-changing to lie still and enter into a primordial state…a darkness from which new light, new panoramas, and clarity can emerge.


    You can meditate sitting up, lying down, and in yoga poses like legs up the wall. It can be for two minutes or forty-five. The key is to be very comfortable. If you’re distracted by physical discomfort, the chances of drifting deeper and deeper into stillness are slim to none. And the more you practice, the better you become at blocking out other external noises and factors that can be an annoyance.


    There is the concept of Laya Yoga, a deep state of relaxation where the mind is “dissolved” and you enter into a state of bliss. 

    Taking the time in stillness and in silence helps to reduce mental stress, even out mood swings, and provide more emotional stability.

    Nāda Yoga, the yoga of sound, is another conduit to deep meditative absorption, a sense of well-being, and peace of mind. Combining music and stillness can help transport you to new realms. 


    So, although it might be a tough sell to encourage folks to do “nothing,” in fact less “doing” and more “nothing” can be terrific medicine for healing the pain, anguish, logjams, and obstacles in our way.

    Taking time to be in stillness and silence helps us to get out of our own way. 


    Moving from angst and struggle to bliss and paradise isn’t easy. And the evolution requires discipline, dedication, and…practice, practice, practice.  


    There is not one prescription for an appropriate yoga practice for all. But, there’s so much to choose from. And finding a yoga path to help you mitigate life’s challenges and improve overall well-being is available to all.


    Similarly, there is not one route that everyone’s life is meant to take.  

    Spending time in silence and stillness may be just what’s needed to eliminate indecision, intimidation, confusion, and dismay, and to reach the next level of self-realization, self-actualization, and to help you chart your next route. No GPS required. 


    We never age out of this process. In fact, the wisdom and sageness acquired over the course of a long life may result in even greater “productivity” from being still and from not doing a thing.



    Louise Applebome, 69, is a Certified Yoga Instructor in Dallas. After “retiring” from a vibrant and varied professional career, she became a yoga teacher. She teaches all her classes on Zoom right now and accepts students, young or older, from wherever they are, both geographically and in their pursuit of a yoga practice. Louise will help you stay fit and flexible, and release tension, aches & pains from the body…and the mind. Her yoga studio in Dallas is del norte yoga. You can reach out to her at