• amanda

Functional Stillness

Space to breathe. Time to pause. A chance to reflect.

I had a week up at El Questro recently. It was for the start of the 'Festival of Amanda' for my 50th in October. I want to use so many big words to describe it, like transformational, transcendental, inspirational - but also smaller words, like soft, quiet, settled. It was a place to truly tune in to myself and simultaneously appreciate the vastness and the smallness of life.

While I was there I was watching the way people were walking through the gorges, and was getting really excited (in a nerdy way) about ankle mobility, balance and functional movement, and planning fun sequences to keep my yogis agile and capable. However, the more time I spent being quiet, absorbing the beauty of the area, I realised that movement is not the most important part of what I teach.

The most important part is the space in between each movement, the space to breathe, to pause, to notice.

I love the first 15 minutes of class. We go from chatting and laughing and having quite the party vibe, to a place of such stillness and quiet, that it is hard to believe it is the same group of people.

The deep breathing, the languid first movements as the arms float up overhead, the sighs as the body releases - to me, this is where the magic happens. Eyes are closed, feet are relaxed, jaws are unclenched ... we pause, we breathe, we are spacious.

Functional movement is very important to lead a healthy, active life. But I don't think there is enough credit given to functional stillness. Watching TV doesn't count. Functional stillness, where we pause - whether that is in Savasana, or sitting on the beach watching the waves, floating in a warm bath or laying under the stars - is equally as important. It gives us a chance to notice what is around us, to notice what is going on inside us, and be like Winnie the Pooh and 'have a big think'.

Stillness is where you find the pared-back version of yourself, where you are not your achievements, possessions, to-do lists. You are simply you.

This is who I see, when you drop to the mat and pause. I see you. Vulnerable, real, honestly you. With all your quirks and perfect flaws, I see you. You don't need to be anyone else. Turn up, just as you are, and give yourself over to the power of stillness.

Pause, and see what comes up ❤️

With love,

Amanda x

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