Saturday, August 15, 2015

How to Have a Yoga Body Part 4

How to have a yoga body: take the body you have to the yoga studio, and do yoga with it.
Beth Galis captured this cool angle on my savasana. In the Bikram style of Hatha yoga that we do at Yarrow, there are many opportunities to practise this pose. I like to think of it as letting go. During the standing half of the class, we do very short - probably 5 second - savasanas between each pose. It is the chance to let go of the previous pose and move into the next pose empty of judgement (if I felt weak in the last pose) and empty of pride (if I felt strong in it.) The goal is to be present for each pose. I often find that thinking too much, dwelling on the past or even the future, keeps me from being present. Savasana to the rescue. Time to simply be. Honestly, when we get to the floor, I sometimes think that the studio must be built on top of a lava flow. The floor feels hotter than the air. I have a trick that I use when I am having thoughts of the heat, or anything really that is other than the simple joy of being in the room. I imagine that I am lying on a bridge - like the suspension bridge at Bowl and Pitcher - there is a cool river flowing below me and the space between the boards allows air and sometimes water to cool me. I imagine my thoughts flowing out of me and being carried away by the river, so I can remain as empty and present as possible. Sometimes, I imagine I have a tail that reaches into the river to play in the cool water. We get 20 seconds between each floor pose to lie in savasana. It is here that we soak up all of the benefits of the class. I will gather my thoughts and write more about letting go at some point. It has been transformative for me this Spring and Summer. Thank you to Beth and all of the instructors at Yarrow for teaching me how to benefit from savasana. 


Cynthia Bleskachek said...

AH beautiful!!!! Yoga has so many benefits, but often people miss this one, don't you think?? Can be the most challenging pose for our busy monkey minds!!! I don't know how I'd keep my sanity without regular meditation :-)

Cherie Killilea said...

I do think we need to be taught that there is benefit in stillness. I came to yoga from aerobics, so stillness was completely foreign to me at first.