The Art of Doing Nothing

Ok, so it has definitely been longer then a week… But it’s summer so I will cut myself some slack!  Yes, that is also a Segway into my blog, which this week focuses on giving ourselves a break. 

One of my favourite things to do while I am teaching is to provide my students with some words they can take off the mat into their everyday lives. I usually find it most effective to keep these words or phrases short, as it is tough to remember long passages, especially when the yogis are focusing on their asana and the breath. A phrase that I have found most effective as of late is “do nothing” and as you may have guessed, this phrase usually comes just while we are moving into savasana. It is very rare for most of us to be told to do nothing. We live in a society that encourages and rewards the “go/go” mentality; not doing nothing. Doing nothing has always been seen as a negative, for the lazy and sedentary. However, the delight I see on my students’ faces when I tell them to do nothing, tells me that indeed we could all benefit from slowing down and at times taking it easy. 

Taking time to relax, to recharge, to just be, in fact allows us to be more productive when we are on the move. If we don’t slow down, even let ourselves completely stop, we can find ourselves on a never ending roller coaster of activity and movement that can truly exhaust the mind and the body. Although I enjoy being on the go as many of us do, I enjoy being on the ‘stop’ just as much. When I first came to yoga I recall the feeling that I didn’t really need savasana – isn’t the class over? Why do I need to lie here when I should be packing up and moving to the next thing. I have learned through the years and the deepening of my practice to embrace and love savasana for what it gives to me, which is a chance to completely take pause and rest. I now laugh at the thought of thinking I could “skip” it. 

Try doing nothing; it may be just what you need. 


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