If you’ve ever been to a yoga class, you are familiar with savasana, the final relaxation pose at the end of your practice. After moving through physical postures (asana), you take time to let your body and mind rest and restore by lying down with the body relaxed, eyes closed.
For some, savasana is a major motivator for showing up to class but for many others, it’s the most challenging part of class. Why is simply lying down with the eyes closed so difficult? Some say it’s actually impossible to ‘shut off’ or ‘quiet the mind’. But, who ever said you need to shut off or be quiet? Whoever it was, they’re wrong…
Let go of the idea that relaxation is something you ‘do’. Let go of the idea that relaxation is pushing thoughts away. Let go of the idea that the goal is to be empty of all thoughts. There is no goal. There is no pushing. There is no empty. There’s just you as you are..who you are…where you are…what you are…exactly who, where and what you should be. You’re practicing. And all that noise that’s still swirling around in your head? Let all that be too. All those thoughts, feelings and emotions are a part of your space and a part of your practice. They belong just as much as you do. So, let them all be. And let yourself be. The same is true for meditation. Another practice many people find impossible. For me, practicing savasana at the end of yoga class was what led me to explore a meditation practice. Even though savasana is relaxation, and not meditation, it was my first taste of a mindfulness practice and as difficult as it was, I knew the benefits were worth the effort.
I’ve created a very short meditation practice for people who think they can’t meditate. It’s helpful to move around before sitting to meditate so the body can sit more comfortably so try this after a physical practice or any other physical activity you prefer. You can also try listening to this during the first few minutes of your savasana to help you settle.
I do yoga to burn off the crazy
This is my truth but there's more... I practice yoga because if I didn't I would yell at my kids (even) more. I practice yoga because my practice teaches me something every single day. I practice yoga to forgive. I practice yoga to be kind. I practice yoga to help me believe that I am enough as I am. I'm not perfect. I make mistakes. I have insecurities. I have fears.
I just keep getting on my mat to learn, to forgive, to be kind, to believe. And as I teach, I teach to learn, to share, to support, to protect and to love. That's why I 'do' yoga.
There's no wrong way to practice yoga. Stay open to wherever the practice leads you. It's worth it. I promise. <3
This is not my GIF. I actually don't know who created it but whoever it is is a kindhearted genius. Please share this with anyone and everyone whether you think they need it or not. It's magical.