Calmness is being peaceful and free from any annoyance. It is synonymous to being relaxed. However, by heightened awareness, you can experience calmness during other activities too. By being aware of your breathing, you can experience calmness. The degree of calmness depends on the breathing. If you are aware of the breathing, you can be aware to a certain extent of your condition at physical, emotional and mental levels.
You must have read or watched movies of many successful athletes and sportsmen. We don’t have to go through such strenuous training as them but we may consider drawing inspiration from them on certain important things. If you want to achieve something, you must have focus, commitment, be flexible and harmonize conflicting factors.
Look at the movie on Mary Kom. You will understand that she needed a coach to perform better. Consider some of the other successful sportsmen too. They all have fantastic coaches. Right guidance is important. Likewise, the spiritual path also requires a guide or a coach and a group. You might have come across movies or stories where teamwork is very important, like, Chak De India.
In the movie Karate Kid, they show about Kung Fu. Kung Fu is to do with calmness and stillness. Calmness is not possible unless you come into emotional balance. Then stillness means there should be no other thought other than just one. There is only one focus or one lakshya. Then, you can achieve it. Even Swami Vivekananda quotes that one must have just one target and nothing else. Everything else must be dropped, so you can achieve it. That is what is stillness, it is to drop everything other than just one thought.
With calmness and stillness, you can change the world. If the water is dirty, you can’t see your image in it. Once the water is clean (emotionally purified and balanced, i.e., calmness) the reflection can be seen, but it will be distorted until the water is still (mentally focused, i.e., stillness). So, your higher nature can be reflected in your lower bodies of physical, emotional and mental if they are calm and still.
Watch the movie about Milka Singh, Bhaag Milka Bhaag, to understand commitment. He doesn’t spend time with people who gossip or complain all the time about their families, friends and others. He maintains his health even at 80+ years of age. He eats only half stomach. He works, exercises, jogs or runs accordingly. “Food will be available again in 2 to 3 hours, so, why stuff yourselves”, he says. So, we must choose right diet, right quantity and exercise properly.
Train your Body for Calmness
1. Avoid unnecessary strain. You are constantly losing energy when you contract your muscles, like your jaw, temples, face, etc. You can see a person’s face and tell that he is in stress. This is true with everyone. When you are sitting in some posture, certain muscle may start hurting. You must realize which muscle is unnecessarily or excessively being strained. How are you walking? Where are you straining? What is your posture while walking? You must really observe your movements. They must be swift but calm, not in hurriedness and panic. Swiftness and hurriedness are two different things. Train yourself to be swift. See how the karate or Taekwondo people are swift, not hurried. You can train yourself to be alert and swift, sensitive yet strong, flexible and also dynamic, and aware of the breathing.
Now, you must watch all your actions for any unnecessary contraction or strain on your body. For example, when you are going in a bus, you are tensed as if you are driving, applying breaks or turning. Despite being in a comfortable bus and a nice seat, you are stressed the entire journey. You are under constant pressure and strain and are radiating that fear to all, including the driver. You must learn to relax, drop your body in the seat, relax and go. You can bless the driver, of course! Remember, by you getting tensed, it is not going to change anything. Look at a baby. After few minutes in the bus, she is fast asleep.
When you sit or lie down in bed, drop the body. Learn it. Drop the body, drop the emotion, drop the mind. Observe your breathing. While doing some work, your mental focus and awareness should be on the work that you are doing. While eating, focus on chewing well and enjoy the food. Make better choices of food. Are you eating to live or living to eat? Are you eating for taste or are you eating as you are hungry? Use your discretion. While exercising, your mind must be applied on the part being exercised. Energy follows thought. Utilize your full ability to do proper exercise. You are anyways spending time in doing exercise, then why not get benefitted better than doing it half-heartedly? When brushing your teeth, be fully aware of it. You may do things swiftly, but must be done efficiently also. That is what is calmness and stillness. That’s what Kung Fu says and that’s what yoga is all about.
2. Regulate your emotions and thoughts. Unless you come into calmness and stillness, you cannot advance further. Emotions and thoughts affect your physical body. Sometimes hurriedness may be required in an emergency situation. But your entire day cannot be in hurriedness. All the time, you are moving or shaking your legs or tapping your pen because you are releasing energy due to stress and adrenal activation.
Bring adrenal glands under control. Observe the breath and practice Rhythmic Yogic Breathing (RYB). Breathing is extremely important. RYB helps with better oxygenation, emotional balance, thinking faculty is freed from stress or emotional hijacking. That is, the prefrontal cortex of the brain which is involved with reasoning ability, gains control instead of the reflexive hind brain taking control of you with erratic emotions, vibrating diaphragm or heart racing. The moment you start practicing this breathing, you get back in control. Blood supply to the visceral organs increases or is restored, thus, your digestion improves, immune system comes back into action. Enough research is there about abdominal breathing. And when done rhythmically, the technique becomes extremely potent. Further, keep observing the breath all the time. Observe your inner state. From breathing to the inner state, that is the link between physical action to emotional and mental states. You are an observer, that is dhyana or awareness meditation!
3. Avoid procrastination. Why is there restlessness, hurriedness or panic? It is due to postponing, procrastinating, or delaying till the last moment. For instance, children preparing for exams in the last minute or paying of taxes at the flag end. This has become our habit. This last-minute rush and panic obviously affect our health and may lead to issues like hypertension. Hypertension is connected to stress, food, and other reasons.
4. Exercise properly. After proper exercising and stretching, your muscles relax. Also, it releases some of the stored stress energy. Therefore, exercises and RYB are important in order to relax. Observe your body. Continuously adjust your posture.
5. Choose right food, chew well and sip water. Take time, enjoy your food. Give time for everything. Hurriedness cannot become your way of life. You have to change your lifestyle. You gulp down food without properly chewing it or tasting it. You have tongue and teeth in the mouth, not in the stomach! The energy or nutrients which could be absorbed in the mouth by proper chewing are wasted. The digestion process which requires proper mixing of food with saliva is not done properly. Failing to digest properly your stomach becomes like a yeast pot, with fermented food and all kinds of problems.
Same with drinking water. You must not drink it down, but sip it instead. You must start implementing them and make it part of your life.
Body building blocks are proteins. Validate to see how the proteins that you consume become useful? They must be converted into amino acids. How they are converted into amino acids? You need enzymes. Where are the enzymes? In fruits and raw food! Alkaline environment prevents any unwanted growth, boosts immunity and also regenerates the body. Raw foods are alkaline. Also, the antioxidants in them prevent or retard the aging process.
6. Work on improving health and take energy healing. Work on any health issues that you might be having and recuperate at all levels on a continuous basis. For example, work on the affected joints. You can exercise as well as heal them. Body can be regenerated by prana.
To summarize all that we said, make right food choices, chew well, eat for your hunger, not for your appetite. Observe your muscle movements, stop unnecessary shaking of the legs, squeezing, straining or tightening of the muscles and constantly losing energy like a leaking faucet. Do not postpone or procrastinate. Resolve things immediately. You can also heal people who are perpetually stressed or for any ailment. Calmness means emotional balance and stillness is having mental clarity by dropping all unwanted thoughts. You must practice regularly and in group to drop these things.
Physically, calmness can be seen in pulse rate, breathing rate and a smooth heart rate variability. Apart from BP being normal, heart rate variability shows calmness. These parameters are measurable very easily. You can also know by the alpha frequency of the brain waves and balance in left and right brain activity. You can see it in your lung capacity or utilization. Check your BMI and also your blood parameters.
Techniques for Calmness
Use techniques like exercises, RYB, Forgiveness Sadhana, some chanting, inner reflection and erasing what’s unwholesome, becoming a channel to bless Earth using meditations like Planetary Peace Meditation (PPM) or Metta meditation. Your aura gets substantially cleaned up. Calmness ensues, then you can practice stillness. There is stillness between 2 words or 2 activities. In PPM, you look for stillness between the OMs. Om purifies, strengthens and tunes you up. As your vibration increases, you move to higher and subtler energy. There are multiple benefits. Utilize the techniques, understand and practice them. All chanting must be done with understanding and for a purpose. Do not practice chanting mindlessly, excessively and land in problems. Everything must be done in moderation. Everything that you practice, you must know why you are doing it.
Yoga Prana Vidya techniques help you to come into calmness and also stillness. You brain comes into alpha state which is important to re-program yourself to rid yourself of any habitual reactions and tendencies. You can transform yourself more easily. These techniques also strengthen your immunity. They help you focus in right direction.
So, observe all your actions and address the conditions. There are many remedial measures by which you can come back to normalcy.
You must also understand that you have a purpose. The difficulties and vicissitudes are part of life to challenge and develop your inner muscles. You must look at them with right perspective. If there are no obstacles or difficulties, there is no development of the soul! They help strengthen you and then you can improve and grow fast. Certain pressure is required for growth. The seed thrown on the ground may not become a big tree. However, a seed put under right pressure will grow strong. It will be able to root down and shoot up tough and sturdy. But excessive pressure is dangerous too. If planted too deep in soil, the seed may perish. So, optimum pressure is required. Hence, you come under pressure, as part of life. Strengthen your inner state to overcome the pressure. You become compassionate and progress. Tweak your perception slightly in order to see things and life as an opportunity. Do not blame anybody for your condition. There are lessons to be learnt; learn them. Work to maintain your calmness and stillness. Learn to internally forgive yourself, others and ask for forgiveness.
Understand the importance of practicing in a group. It is not that you practiced yesterday and you take a break today. It has to be done on a regular basis. That is why it is called Sadhana, which means regular practice.
We are practicing all these techniques of exercises, RYB, Forgiveness Sadhana, PPM or Metta meditation in our daily live sessions in a large group. You may utilize this opportunity to purify yourself and experience calmness, stillness, boost your immunity and also re-program and transform yourself. There is also guided Divine group healing during these sessions. These sessions are now extended up to December 31st, 2020 @ www.facebook.com/ShriNJReddy. Timings: Morning 7.15 AM, Afternoon 1.00 PM, Evening 6.30 PM IST.
You may also try our YPV Sadhana app which is available for free in various languages. It has guided tracks for all these said techniques.