Most yoga classes end with the shavanasa pose. In this posture, practitioners lie flat on their backs with the heels spread as wide as the yoga mat, arms a few inches away from the body, and palms facing upwards. Surinder always encourages us to relax into our bodies, enjoy the silence, and feel the stillness. At the conclusion of the practice, he shares a spiritual story. This is a summation of his story from last Thursday.
He began by asking this rhetorical question, “Why is silence so important in our lives?”
His next question was, “How do we measure the health of a tree?”
Many of the students began to give random answers and we eventually agreed that the health of a tree can be seen in the trunk, the leaves, and the limbs. He quickly reminded us that while these are all good answers, the source of health is the deep roots of the tree. Without deep and grounded roots, nothing exists above the surface.
Continuing with the quizzes, he asked, “How do we measure the calmness of a river?” We could not get this one so he explained that surface level calmness is a reflection of depth. Without depth, water is agitated and jumpy as it flows through constricted paths.
Continuing with the metaphors, he said, “By nature, our minds are always running. Running to the future or digesting the past. By nature, we are all good at talking but we only learn through listening. By practicing silence and meditation, we can go below the surface and connect to our true nature at a much deeper level. The depth or lack of depth in that connection is reflected in our daily actions.”
To cleanse, many yogis occasionally fast because it is a sure way to remove impurities. Silence is fasting for the mind.