In Loving Silence - Meditation Benefits

Every morning at Kripalu, we arrived to practice yoga at 6:20 because the Sadhana or class began at 6:30 a.m.  The room was totally silent, and the lights were low.  The weather in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts is cool, and we often dressed in layers because of it.  The moment we walked in the outer area, we removed our shoes, turned off our cell phones, and quietly placed our mats on the floor with any props necessary.  The teacher was usually already in place, meditating, and the whole area seemed filled with this beauty of peace.

The early morning classes were my favorite time.  Our teacher would guide us through our meditation, our breath practice, and start our movement phase.  There was this gentle hush throughout the room, and yet, it was friendly and compassionate.  After class was over at 8:00 a.m., I took a vow of silence and wore my badge "In Loving Silence" as I moved towards the breakfast area.  55 people were in this dim lit room plus the teacher and assistants, but we all were filled with the lovely after glow of yoga practice, pranayama, and meditation.

I brought my badge home and took out the "In Loving Silence" paper, placed it on the door of the studio. My hope was that our people would observe as they passed from the place of taking off their shoes, attending to their cards, signing in, and transition to the beauty of quiet in the early morning, mid-day, late afternoon, or evening practice.  Visiting and building a yoga community are an awesome part of Tranquility Yoga Studio in Owasso, but loud talking belong in the foyer area where we check in for the classes.

Yesterday, as our friends were coming to the noon class, one of our yoga people was in tears due to a recent loss, another was upset and needed a quiet place, so I told them about my experience and how yoga is different than gym classes of aerobics, kickboxing, and Pilates.  They were so kind and began to silence their voices, close the windows of their eyes, and come to a quiet, comfortable seat.  It was truly beautiful.  I thanked them after class for their kindness as some were suffering and needed the beauty of a meditative practice.

If you know me well, you realize immediately that I love to talk, to laugh, to make jokes, and to greet our friends.  That is why I stand at the door of the foyer to greet as they walk in, but when we come to the mat, I believe that the ambience of silence would be appropriate.  Then, after our Savasana, heading out to the foyer, and putting your shoes back on, the conversation restarts.  Many people enjoy visiting out in the parking area for long periods of time after class.  Some people leave quietly with tears in their eyes.   Others hurry out to make their next appointment.  Whichever way, the departure takes place is appropriate, but in the yoga room itself, the quiet is so precious.

My goal is to build a compassionate, kind, non-competitive yoga community here at Tranquility.  We have fellowship dinners in the summer and practices out on the yoga patio that encourage friendship and a sense of family.  Since I am an affectionate person, I love to share a hug or pat on the back with everyone who comes through our door.  People need this type of communication because we are too much into our crazy world of electronic devices, noise, and obligations which often add to the stress we feel each day.

So, come to class with us, practice yoga with our TY family, but please leave your shoes, your cell phones, your conversations in the yoga foyer and check-in place.  Begin to quiet your minds and come to a comfortable seat in the studio.  Breathe in peace; breathe out calm.  Smile. It's all good.  Meditation changed my life at Kripalu, and my hope is that it will change yours, too!


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