Sunday, November 28, 2010

Birthday Savasana

I am very new to yoga, which I have been interested in for a while. My curiosity was heightened by a "Speaking of Faith" interview with Seane Korn that I listened to this summer. I was also drawn by programs like ALPHA Running. ALPHA Running's approach is centered on a strategy called "RYT," which stands for "Running," "Yoga," and "Track." 

Now that I am about eight weeks into going to yoga regularly at Journeys in Yoga, I am hooked. I know it will be good for my running, when my injury heals enough for me to run again, but in the here and now, it is good for my mental state.

There is a phase at the end of each yoga session called "Savasana." (Yes, I did have to look this up in order to be able to blog about it - remember, I said I am very new!) In Savasana, you typically take the corpse pose and to quote Amey Matthews: "release holding in the muscles .. let go of thoughts in the mind .. relax the breath .. gradually create a sense of dissipating into the atmosphere around you."

I am very surprised that the teachers at Journeys in Yoga have not had to wake me up to make me leave and make way for the next class while I have been in Savasana.  Amey Matthews writes, "sleepiness can be an unconscious escape into a more familiar state of mind." (And no, this post is not about me and meetings ... it's about yoga, remember?!) 

There have been about three times over the past two months when I am sure my mind was doing some important work during Savasana.  One time involved my husband's previous employer and the letting go of resentment. Another involved something very fundamental about the parent-child relationship, and understanding the intent behind the physical gifts our children give us - how much they want our approval and how much they gain from our pleasure in the items they bestow on us. Today, mindful that I needed to have something to write about tonight, I was trying so hard to consciously hold on to the phrase the teacher said as we began Savasana - something about creating spaces for our minds and our bodies.  But the deeper I allowed my "boundaries to soften and dissolve" (credit Amey Matthews), the more I lost the ability to hold on to that specific phrase. The music playing had to do with magnificence and the ocean. I was gone, and I was not asleep.

On my birthday, I am so grateful for this new influence in my life. I suppose I have my foot injury to thank for sending me on this particular path. I love this simple yet eloquent graphic shared by Ashley of MS Run the US recently, and I view these moments of Savasana as stepping stones between the comfort zone and the magic.   

Speaking of things that I am grateful for, check out this creation of my young friend Leila's. Is this not the best "front of a birthday card envelope" EVER?

I thank Leila for these well-articulated (and flattering!) thoughts. I thank my friends and family for the things they have done, big and small, to make today nice for me. I thank my son for "eliminating" the wasp that was buzzing around the keyboard tonight. I thank the practice of yoga for the moments of Savasana, of providing me opportunities for "time of observation without expectation." (Amey Matthews quote)


liesl said...

I am sheepish to say that I go to yoga simply for the Savasana (did I spell that right?) It is an amazing experience when you are in the right space - and I don't get there any other times, except, maybe - just maybe in the flow of writing when it feels like something is writing you, not you writing something. Amazing, beautiful. Awesome you have found this new experience out of your injury, which would otherwise be a negative.

Amy said...

I am intrigued by Yoga, but I don't take the time to go to classes!

I love reading your posts...maybe you can help teach me a thing or two!