April 26, 2012

How Loud Is Your Environment? ~ Sheila Singh

Photo: Jacopo Werther

Seemingly quiet.

Sunday morning and the girls were at my Mom’s place. It was uncommonly quiet in the house, and equally serene and subdued outside.

I enjoyed a warm cup of tea and brought my mat out to the deck. The scenery was lush and the air, warm and still to the touch.

I came to my mat to meditate. I closed my eyes and began to follow my breath. Very quickly, I noticed the sweet sounds of the birds. Different bird calls responding to one another. It was quite beautiful and I was amazed by the amount and variation of birds in my vicinity. I wondered if that was always the case, and I was just too preoccupied to notice.

After several minutes with my eyes closed, I began to sense direction and movement. I was aware of whether the birds were to my right or left, front or back. Whether they were moving away or toward me. The sounds became dynamic and energetic.

I was so mesmerized with the birds, that it took a while to begin to notice the distant sounds of cars on Highway 71. I could sense the cars moving closer as the sounds grew louder and then further as they became faint to the ear. In time, I connected more deeply to my own breath. A softness ensued in my body and skin. I felt as if I was a more cohesive part of my environment. I felt receptive, rather than scattered. I felt connected, rather than separate.

To my surprise, the seemingly quiet, serene morning transformed into a vibrant symphony of sound, movement and sensation. It was only when I sat with a sense of inner stillness that I awakened to the energetic and dynamic nature of my surroundings. It allowed me to notice what often goes unnoticed. It allowed me to connect to what often seems so separate.

I wonder how often I connect to my experience and to the people around me with that level of awareness. I imagine not as often as I would like.

This, I believe, is so much of what my yoga practice is about. To find stillness within so that I can mindfully awaken to the pulsation of life. And from a place of stillness, to find a deeper sense of harmony in what often seems anything but harmonious.


Sheila is inspired by many traditions of yoga and sees her yoga mat as a place for her to let go and drop into her body and mind and ultimately open into spirit.  She hopes to hold a space for students to do the same.  Sheila views the practice as a mindful dance between breath, movement and drishti.  Sheila loves that yoga is truly a philosophy on how to lead your life with a greater sense of awareness and intention.  It goes beyond the physical practice and helps to guide practitioners in every aspect of life.  For Sheila, her yoga practice has enabled her to remain true to herself and embody a deep sense of awareness, acceptance and love through everything that life brings her way.Most importantly Sheila continues to be a student and is inspired by the wonderful community of teachers in Austin.  When she is not practicing yoga, Sheila loves spending time with her two girls, her husband and beautiful circle of friends. www.sheilasingh.com

Editor: Elysha Anderson

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