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Strength in Staying

Doug Arnaudin


In yoga, we sweat and flex. Stretch and bend. Bind and fold. So often there is something to fix. Lengthen your arms, open your chest. Exhale. Inhale. Always something to DO. Some place to further yourself within the practice. That is, until half-pigeon pose comes along. My fellow yogis know what I'm talking about. It's this place of opening where the magic happens. Once I saw a girl burst out crying in pigeon pose. She finally tapped into the release. In a room packed with other bodies --




Even though pigeon is a pose of stillness, it's one that's the most difficult for me. There is nothing for me to DO -- only to allow the weight of gravity to drip down my back like honey. I often hold myself up. Or exit the pose before I reach that sensational place of reckoning. Why is staying so hard? I find this lesson repeated so many times in my life. When things get mundane, I bolt. A new job, new city, new clothes, new things with which to punctuate my life. What beauties would I find just beyond the ordinary stillness? What would I learn about myself? Would I be freed like the girl crying on her mat, unafraid of sideways glances from her peers? Often I seek the short lived liberation of moving. Of always being in flux. Yet, there is beauty in being still. 

There is strength is staying.


May you be encouraged today to stay through your struggle. After all, "dripping water hollows out stone not through force but through persistence."