Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why they call it present...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wait...where are you going?

When given the option to take at least one minute to lie down, close your eyes and RELAX (not to mention right after a 90 minute yoga flow) Why wouldn’t you take that option? This is what I use to look forward to most after a long, sometimes very difficult, HOT flow. Although I don’t teach HOT yoga, I’ve started to use the heater to get the room up to a comfortable 25 degrees during these frigid Canadian months.
Not even a minute into my “Savasana speech” I have people rolling up their mat and heading out the door. I’ve practiced and repeated this “Speech” 100X and I’m pretty sure I have it down pat *monotone voice*. I don’t think it’s me, I’m pretty sure it has to do with the fact that we’re all so busy racing from one part of our lives to the next; trying to squeeze everything in to one day/night...hour.

How important is Savasana?

Before I had studied the yoga path and began my journey, I use Savasana to just relax and rest. I never thought about the benefits of it, and that could be because I just wasn’t told. At the end of my practice, I was soaked and exhausted and very hot, so ultimately I needed to lie down.

Savasana is a vital closing of the physical yoga flow where prana (the breath) is given permission to become grounded, focused and calm. When one is practicing their poses, connection to prana is important as it connects the energy within and around you. Ending a practice without Savasana may lead to a feeling of disconnection, and healing of specific parts of the body and nervous system may be missed. Savasana can also be helpful in releasing stress, anxiety and lead to deeper connections with your higher self when in a meditative state.
I can understand where those withdraw from Savasana. Not only is it a relaxation pose, but like all other yoga poses, you must learn to surrender.
Those suffering from tight hip flexors, low back tension, neck strain and/or pelvic conditions this can be a very uncomfortable situation mentally and physically. It is important for you as a student to discuss injuries and/or conditions with your yoga teacher prior to taking the class, as it is equally important for your teacher to ask and be aware of all her students. You and your teacher should talk about modifications and restorative postures that will aid in the healing of these conditions.
Mentally, Savasana can also be unpleasant, as you may have feelings and emotions arise within. This is something that you can’t really modify; it’s all about surrendering and dealing with things at your own pace, when ready. If only we could stick a pillow under those thoughts to help cushion the blow sometimes.

As a teacher, I can’t force my students to lie down and relax. I believe just like everything else in this world, you’ve got to WANT it in order to make it happen. I feel if you’re not ready, you might be setting yourself up for failure. Take small baby steps, start with being grateful that you’re given this time to just close your eyes and be present in your body. I can only guide you and offer you the time, space and permission of a safe, blissful state. Take it, and explore the ideal position and modifications for Savasana so your body can enjoy the greater physical release, along with its wide range of healing benefits.


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