Good Evening Readers!
So, I am really hoping that the title of this blog gets a lot of, “well duh!” from everyone. Unfortunately, some yogis don’t practice, nor preach, Savasana, for themselves or their students. Although all yoga teachers should not tell you that you “must” do a particular pose- final rest is the one that “should” be *highly* recommended.
The point of yoga, even if you think you are just coming for a sweaty, stretchy workout, is to find a path towards peace and happiness. The asanas, yes, provide an endorphin boost as well as increased blood flow to the glands that produce happy-juice, the thyroid and pituitary. They can also help you get out of your head and all the honey-do lists, whining kids and mile-a-minute thoughts, because you are focusing on your body so much. However, what is the point of producing all those savory endorphins if you don’t allow yourself to swim in them for a bit?
Any good personal trainer in a gym will have you warm up and cool down, to allow your body to ease in, and out, of strenuous activity. Professional dancers do bar work before they move into the big leaps, and martial artists do basic moves before the extremes. This prevents injury and allows your brain to get the correct signals to the correct organs for their functions. Compare it to slamming on the brakes and gradually applying them.
When I started practicing yoga with a friend, while living in Germany, we were both at first very awkward at the end of class. Our teacher would give us usually a 10-15 minute Savasana and would leave the room. This was also a class with little, to no music. I was worried that I misunderstood her, after all, she was speaking about Sanskrit things in German. But no one else got up to leave- so we stayed. I’m sure I was asking myself, “Am I paying for this?” or “What am I supposed to do?” However, as time went on we both started to look forward to that time of floating. It was comforting to only hear the breath of the others, and the normal creaks and sounds of a building. The class was on a Friday afternoon and was the perfect way to unwind.
Recently I convinced the hubby to do some yoga with me at home, as he was quite stressed. I allowed us a nice, long Savasana, and despite the inevitable doggie kisses that followed (on the ground, belongs to the hound!), he enjoyed it. So much so, in fact, that the next day he asked, “Can we have a little Savasana?” Happy dance for Jillian! He said it was like when he has gotten a massage, aware, yet not aware. Sleep is a wonderful healer, but sometimes simply being cognizant that you are relaxing, yet not sleeping (unconscious), is enough to calm any issues you are suffering from.
So, allow yourself to soak in the pulsing of your heart, the steadiness of your inhales and exhales, hearing the music (or lack thereof) and feeling the tactile positive energy that is surrounding you. Watch your thoughts float around, count your breaths, follow an image that brings you joy and peace (I think of the feather at the beginning of Forrest Gump) or even inventory your body ala Yoga Nidra. I love Savasana with Legs Up The Wall, if the space is available. I love getting lavender and Thai-Yoga elements. And I especially love it when no one distracts me from it by leaving early. Don’t you!?
Namaste for Now!