One of the first steps toward building a spiritual practice is to learn how to sit. When I say sit, I mean a few different things. First, it's important to learn how to physically sit with as little discomfort as possible. Next, I am referring to learning how to sit mentally. For a very long time, I had a story that I told myself about how I wasn't able to sit still. It was very hard for me to be still for any period of time because my thoughts would get feisty and tell me there were better things that I could be doing. Finally, I also mean to learn how to sit with your emotions. Emotions are a normal and healthy part of life but for a long time I was scared of my emotions and had gotten into the habit of denying them.
I once asked people on my Facebook page when the last time was that they sat quietly for ten minutes without doing anything else. Most people shared that it had been a very long time since they'd done that. Many couldn't even remember the last time that they had sat still. In our modern era, when we do slow down to take a break, it's very common to reach for our device to fill that space.
Learning how to sit is a great place to begin your exploration of yoga and spirituality. When people think of yoga, the images of the mat-based postures are often the first things that come to mind. These poses are called asana. Asana is a Sanskrit word that loosely translates to "seat." For me, this means that the purposes of these postures is to help us learn how to sit in our lives. If our bodies and minds are jumpy, too tight, too loose, sitting can be very difficult.
Using props generously is a great way to support your sitting practice. One of the first steps in this process is to learn how to fold a yoga blanket. I've created a video for you to help you with this. By learning this traditional blanket fold, you'll be able to find increased comfort when you sit. I'll be posting more suggestions about healthy sitting practices in the coming weeks. In the meantime, find a blanket and practice this fold.
If you already have a sitting practice, I'd love to hear from you. What's your expression of sukhasana (easy seated pose)? Can you sit comfortably without a blanket? Do you use blocks or prefer a chair?
If you are new to sitting, what questions do you have about how to create a comfortable seat?
Check out the video below to learn how to fold a yoga blanket.