There’s a pesky saying that travels around the yoga world from time to time. There’s a call to stop doing. The seed of this sentiment comes from a good place. There’s a lot of value in stillness, in quietude. When we get quiet, our mind’s eye sees more clearly. When the chatter subsides, we’re able to solve challenges with more confidence and insight. In peace, we gain direction.
This place of stillness can feel so good that we are reluctant to come back down. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could just stay in that meditative state for a good long while? Yes, and no. The power of yoga and its many benefits make little difference on that 12 square feet of sticky surface. Their value comes to bear when we leave our mats, when we go out there into that great big world and actually do something with our clear minds and renewed sense of purpose. It’s good to stop doing for a bit, but eventually doing is what life is about. To have an impact, we have to take action with a clear sense of focus and direction.
Think of all of the historical figures whom you admire. My list is topped by people like Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa. It’s filled with people who are writers, artists, musicians, innovators, inventors, and scientists. I admire them because of what they did. Their actions inspire me every day to show up in this world in the best way that I can so that I have a hand in crafting a world I want to live in.
I’m all for rest and relaxation, but I’m also all for making that rest and relaxation purposeful. Purpose is found in the actions we take with our hearts, minds, and spirits united. We can’t think, nor meditate or yoga, our way into a better and brighter future. Ultimately, we have to do something with the peace that comes from what we practice on our mats.