Photo by Monica Felix @

Committing to stillness

Photo by Monica Felix @

Photo by Monica Felix @

After years of practicing yoga, I’ve found my instincts to be sharper than ever before because the most challenging component of practicing yoga is the stillness.

Especially in Bikram, when it’s a hundred degree and sweat gushes out of every pore of your body for ninety minutes straight. Kind of hard not to wipe, itch, scratch, pick, pull or adjust something.

But that’s the whole point. To be able to practice perfect stillness amidst surrounding chaos. That’s when you’re confronted with who you really are. That’s when you can’t hide from your truth.

Sounds simple, but it’s actually the most challenging part of class. Anyone can touch head to knee. But to just sit there and do nothing for sixty seconds? Yikes.

Most people are so voluntarily overbooked and crazybusy that the mere thought of absolute stillness gives them an ulcer.

But if you can practice stillness in the studio, you can practice stillness anywhere. Muscle memory is a beautiful thing.

From stillness comes lucidity. And from lucidity comes the ability to listen to your intuition.

Ask anyone who does yoga: The highest benefits are found outside the studio. Those instincts will get sharp as steel.

How much time did you spend yesterday just sitting?

Scott Ginsberg is a writer, daily practitioner and work study volunteer at Bikram Yoga Park Slope.