Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Gift of Savasana

As I continue to learn and grow as a teacher, I've discovered the thing I enjoy most about teaching is the last moments of class when students groggily sit up and open their eyes after a sweet savasana. There is something so powerful about a room of people experiencing total relaxation after an invigorating asana practice.

I was recently struck by this realization after working with a group of staff members at a local non-profit organization during their lunch break. These are people who work with and for children and our community. They work hard and they often work without receiving the recognition they deserve. I felt so honored that I was able to give them a small break and sense of serenity in their busy day.

Savasana is said to relax the body, help lower blood pressure, reduce headache, fatigue and insomnia, and calm the brain to help relieve stress and mild depression.

In yoga, many people come into a class stressed about their day, trying to figure out what they're going to do for dinner, worried about tomorrow. They come in fidgeting and visibly tense. Through the power of yoga, they work through their stress and by the end of the practice, they are able to fully surrender in savasana. In a class I once attended, the teacher encouraged us to let go of all of our labels (wife, mother, father, employee) and our responsibilities. She encouraged us to fully embrace the savasana, or Corpse Pose. The idea of letting go of everything that we believe defines who we are resonated deeply with me. Life is too hectic. Life is too stressful. Life is too...full of life sometimes. If I can give a student 10 minutes of letting go and being present in the moment, I believe I have done my job to its fullest.

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