One of my favorite parts of yoga is the very end - a pose called savasana in which you basically lie on your back, arms at your side, breathing deeply, with your eyes closed. It is a few minutes at the end of your practice when you can silently prepare your mind to transition back to real life.
I’ve restarted yoga. For some reason, yoga is much more appealing in the deep, dark winter than it is as spring and summer beckon me to exercise outside. It may be because the yoga studio is kept at something like 85 degrees - it almost makes it worth getting out of a warm bed in the morning. At any rate, one of my favorite parts of yoga is the very end - a pose called savasana in which you basically lie on your back, arms at your side, breathing deeply, with your eyes closed. It is a few minutes at the end of your practice when you can silently prepare your mind to transition back to real life or congratulate yourself on not falling over during the tree pose. It is rejuvenating and a little reward for the preceding 55 minutes of stretching, straining, balancing, and breathing.
I once stopped going to a yoga class because the instructor had us lift our legs straight up in the air during savasana. That’s not fair, I screamed to myself. I’ve been working hard for the last hour just to get to the only few minutes of peace I will have today and now have to work my abs during my “rest time.” This past week in yoga, our instructor challenged us to lean our legs against the wall during our rest pose. I once again feared that someone was about to ruin my savasana. Since the wall helped support the weight of my legs, it wasn’t quite as bad as having to hold them straight up, but I did resent just a little bit someone messing around with my calm repose.
As protective as I am of this period of recuperation during my yoga practice, I freely give away and sacrifice peaceful moments throughout my day - my own possible moments of savasana-like tranquility at work and at home. I turn on the radio on my way to work to listen to songs I don’t care for or inane comments from radio show callers. I eat my lunch at my desk while I finish charts or work on projects. I look for things to do during the rare moments of quiet at our house instead of just sitting down and watching the sun stream through the windows.
I am in much greater need of savasana during a normal day of being a mom and doctor than I am in the yoga studio. However, I am the one responsible for ruining my own moments of peace and calm by failing to protect and prioritize what we all need - a few moments of rest. This week I will try to expand my savasana beyond the yoga studio.