(as originally posted 3/4/11)
At the end of each yoga class, our instructor settles us into “savasana” (alternately spelled shavasana), a pose in which we lie flat on our backs, perfectly still, for a few minutes of meditative silence. With nothing but a fan whirring overhead or (if we’re lucky) birds chirping outside, it’s the quietest moment of my day. It’s a period of complete rest, no matter how short-lived. When it’s time to end savasana, the instructor asks us to “begin making tiny movements with our fingers and toes” before we raise ourselves to a seated position and end the class with a single “om”.
That phrase “begin making tiny movements” has stuck with me for several weeks now. It seems to be a choicefully selected phrase, notable for its specificity. Not big movements. Not “okay, sit up now.” But “Begin making tiny movements…” For a room full of women who’ve just been completely at rest, tiny movements are about all we want to muster.
Then, this week, I read this little nugget on the Peace & Projects blog written by Melissa Gorzelanczyk, and I thought “Aha!”
I’ll include it here so you can read it for yourself.
“Focus on tiny movements. That’s all it takes to change your life. If you want to quit smoking, you can stop putting a cigarette in your mouth and lighting the end. Once you master the way you move, you can do anything. You can decide to write instead of go out to lunch. You can put away the beer and go to bed early. You can feel your feet on the ground for a run. Movements, no matter how small, shape your entire life. How you go through the motions is up to you.”
So true. Change is simply a series of tiny movements strung together. It’s making “the next right choice” and every moment is a new chance to get it right. I’ve blogged before about momentum and how it can be a helpful force if you are on the right track. But if you find yourself on the wrong track, one that doesn’t serve your goals, then perhaps the best thing you can do is to still yourself. Completely. Stop everything. Find your own Savasana. And when you’re ready, begin making tiny movements… strung together, they’ll change your life.