Approaching your yoga practice.
I have been thinking of ways to express to my students how important the 3 parts of yoga are to the practice. Then I associated it to a good book or a well written paper. As a professor, I teach my students how to write a paper with an introduction, body and a conclusion. As you approach your practice, thinking of it as a 3 part adventure brings the practice together. The beginning of a yoga practice includes breathing, focusing, turning and tuning inward, connecting to the heart and becoming centered. As in a paper, or a book, this is the introduction. Then the practice begins, the asanas start, the body and breath begin to work together to brings you (the student) into the place of bliss and the magic happens, going to the edge of what the body will do with the breath. Finally, Savasana, ah sweet release. The final chapter, the conclusion, it brings everything that was done on the mat into completion.
All three parts of a yoga practice are important. One would probably not read a book by starting in the middle, nor would a person write a paper without a conclusion.
Now as a teacher, it is easy for me to teach psychology students the proper way to format a paper. There is APA and MLA. There is a thesis statement, there are references and there is writing in first or third person. (I was challenged by writing this blog in first and second person)
So how do I get across to every yogi on their mat why Savasana is so important to their practice? The very wise Yogi Shalom, (AKA Charles Scholen) said to me one day recently that he told all of his students not to show up for class if they were not going to stay for Savasana. If you know Charles and his tapes, his Savasana’s are truly wonderful! Who would ever want to leave?
This has been bothering me and on my mind for a long time. Respect the practice from start to finish. Yoga is so much more than the physical and if you allow yourself to do the one thing that may make you the most uncomfortable (sitting or lying quietly) that is the thing you need to do more of ASAP! If you are late, please be as quiet as a church mouse. If you must leave early then do it BEFORE Savasana, like entering late, be extremely quiet and it should not be a regular thing.
Here’s the deal, and yes I am being passionate about this because it is important. Yoga is a personal journey, but when we are in a class we must all be considerate to others around us, as our actions may disturb them. We are all humans rushing through life, being busy, doing, doing, doing. I am the same, my days are filled with work, family, cat feeding, litter box dumping, paperwork, yoga, teaching school, grading papers, running errands, running a business……
I have learned that I need time for me, time for my friends, my family, my cats…..So letting go and relaxing and giving yourself permission to check out, tune in, disconnect, whatever you need to do, JUST DO IT!!!
Become a human being (I stole this from Deepak Chopra) Stop being a human doing. If you don’t understand what Savasana is all about, ASK! We are here to guide your yoga experience what it needs to be for you. And remember, you wouldn’t read a book and stop at the last 2 chapters, or go see a movie and leave 10 minutes before the end, why would you miss out on the best and final part of your yoga?
That’s all! Thank you for listening, reading and hopefully getting my point.