All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

What if we looked at yoga not as a way to arrange our bodies into specific shapes, but as an experiment in the sensations we feel and how movement, breath and stillness change our energy?

With that shift in perspective, yoga becomes much more accessible. Tight hamstrings and inflexibility are no longer “limitations,” only variables in our experiment. Other variables can be added like a strap, a block, a blanket, or adding purposeful pauses to allow us to experiment again.

The Purposeful Pause Experiment

In our culture, movement is prized over stillness. We are expected to keep moving: faster, forward, onward, upward. Yet living without pauses does not allow us to fully live in the present moment.

Yoga is such an important practice for our mental and physical health because it allows us time to pause. Mindfully adding pauses to your practice gives you time to sink further into your poses and become more aware of new sensations in your body and mind.

“The pause is as important as the note.”

~Truman Fisher, American composer.

Likewise, the pause is as important as the movement in yoga.  An added pause changes our inhalation or exhalation. 

We pause between poses, making our transitions mindful. We pause in our poses, allowing ourselves to sink in and to feel sensations in our bodies. We pause in our breath, making it slower and noticing the still moments at the top of the inhale and the bottom of the exhale.

As an experiment, yoga becomes more about exploration, creativity, and embodiment—feeling into our bodies—rather than being a rigid practice of “right” and “wrong” alignments and postures. I invite you to make your next yoga practice an experiment, and pause to feel what happens in your body, mind, and spirit.

When was the last time you intentionally paused?

Namaste.

Annie Wolka, RYT-200, brings a warm and positive energy to her yoga classes, encouraging students to tap into their courage, compassion, and vulnerability to create connection.