From Stillness Arises Action

Here in the UK, as business open up and lockdown restrictions begin to ease, we have the opportunity to be out and about a bit more.


We can dine out in restaurants (indoors! how cool?!) and be more social, which is absolutely integral for our mental state. We are social creatures and we calibrate in relation to others.

But do you find the sudden change from relative quiet to a the extraversion of the summer a little overwhelming?

Trying to see everyone and do everything you haven't had a chance to do for so long might eventually catch up with you in a form of burn out or feelings of anxiety. All this on top of work and everything else you have to juggle in life.

I grew up with the belief that the harder, I work the more likely I am to succeed. And this is true in so many respects. A lot of what I have achieved in my life are the fruits of hard work and diligence, and I very much celebrate and feel grateful for these parts of me because they enabled me to be where I am now. But in recent years, I began to notice that my busy, industrious attitude didn’t seem to be doing much for me.

Was there something in stillness that I could learn from?

This thought arose when I went to a seminar with 5 panelists who started their own yoga businesses. One particular panelists kept quoting 'patience' and 'faith' as her ticket to a successful business. I was triggered beyond words. Did I pay £30 to come sit here and be told to be Patient and have Faith? Give me something tangible!!!

My teacher, Ana Forrest, always says - 'never waste a good trigger'. If something triggers you, be curious about whats causing it. It might be related to a traumatic event or a belief or a trait passed down for generations in the family without noticing that it might not be serving you in a constructive way.

And so. I began to explore stillness versus action.

Clearly the yoga entrepreneur, who was one of the first people to start an online yoga platform in this country, telling me to be patient and have faith went against everything me and everyone in my family have done for generations to survive which was... work work work!!!

Synchronistically, around the same time, I came across a poem by a celebrated Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Mohammed Rumi. The poem touched my soul, I felt it deep and instantly remembered the words:

When I run after what I think I want, my days are a furnace of distress and anxiety.

If I sit in my own place of patience, what I need flows to me, and without any pain.

From this I understand that what I want also wants me, is looking for me and attracting me.

This became a mantra which I connected to every day. At the time I was dating and was tired of going on dates with people who didn't get me. I remember sending an email to a friend to say 'I am done with dating'. I decided to shift my focus to my inner world, deepen by yoga practice and be there more for my family.

Shortly after I stopped trying so hard, I met Ravi. The rest is history, but he was everything and more than what I was looking for in a life-partner.

Around the same time, I secretly (maybe not so secretly) dreamt about leaving my job at the Royal Society of Arts in Finance and Project Management to be a full time yoga teacher. This seemed like an unattainable dream in such an expensive city like London.

Whilst sharing these sentiments with Ravi during one of our first dates he told me, 'you are more powerful than you know, have faith in yourself'. I shrugged off the compliment but the words must have landed on some level.

I was practicing at one of the best yoga studios in this country, Indaba, and after one sweaty Forrest Yoga class with one of my favourite teachers and now a dear friend, Craig Norris, I went up to him to introduce myself and tell him how great the class was (usually I am too shy to do that). Craig and I had an instant connection and he asked me if I could assist his classes and shortly after, I was covering his classes all over London. While he was travelling around the country on teacher trainings, I taught his classes and this opened door after door of opportunity, which came to me without me actively looking for it. I became a full-time yoga teacher and haven't looked back since, not even during lockdown.

In Dao, there is a beautiful concept called Wu Wei, which translates as effortless action or not forcing.

Every day I learn to embrace this into my life. Stillness is not laziness or apathy. The skies don’t always storm; nor are birds always in flight. Stillness preserves us for action when necessary. Wu wei shows that when we stop making waves, and learn to wait and watch, we see outside forces more clearly and make wiser moves. Act hastily, and every step is a potential blunder, with emotion and ego driving our decisions more than reason.

Make time for stillness, and see where it leads you...


The Yoke Wellness Ambassador,

Sabina Ahmadov


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