Noble Silence in the Yoga Room; Why?

December 16, 2013
Katherine Austin Wooley


You've had a tough day, everything seemed to go wrong.  To top it off your relationship hasn't been going so great lately, you're out of groceries and the laundry is way behind, too.

However, you're able to get out of work just in time to make the last yoga class of the day.

Thank God.

You sign in at the front desk; the lobby is bustling with students.  You manage to get changed out of your work clothes and unroll your mat with a few moments to spare to take in some quiet and breathe and relax.

Noble Silence?  Not exactly. It seems tonight it feels more like Starbucks!

As if no one saw the sign on the wall that requests Noble Silence.

What's going on here?

Yoga commUNITY is so lovely.  We love to be able to come to a place and celebrate being with like-minded souls interested in feeling better and attaining higher consciousness. Quite often we feel the most safe here to really let down and be ourselves; more than in our own home, even.  It's great to see friends; we're like family.

And  yet, Noble Silence in the yoga room can create a period of deep healing before class starts.  Many desperately need a place of quiet to unwind, settle down and complete that transition from daily life to inner peace, so we can better receive the teachings that are about to be transmitted to us.

Frankly, most people never get any silence, especially in their mind. There just aren't too many places to retreat to, so we look forward to these precious moments in the yoga studio. An hour here is truly like an hour during which the world stops and we get off the hamster wheel to get back in touch with who we really are and what is really important.

Students periodically ask, "What about noble silence. Where did it go?"

So what's the answer?

Perhaps we could lay down our mat and then leave the yoga room to have a friendly conversation in the lobby.  We could give ourselves a vacation from texting and leave our phones in the car, while we're at it! And some days just come in and BE silent.

It happened, we finally got to a yoga class.  We lay down our mat and allow the silence and the calmness to penetrate our flesh and bones. We allow the energy of the space and its mindfulness to penetrate our body and mind.

"Listening takes place not just through the ears, but with all the senses. Sometimes the best way to prepare ourselves to hear in a new and better way is to be still and silent. When we quiet our motor minds — and our motor mouths — we find that we are better able to open our hearts. The ancient practice of Noble Silence helps us begin the process of hearing in a new way; this is a timeless and wise practice that helps us be more sensitive and perceptive."

(From How Can I Help by Ram Dass and Paul Gorman.)




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