I began practicing yoga in graduate school ten years ago. I did not have an understanding or appreciation for Savasana at that time. Savasana is an active practice of calming the mind while the body is laying down at the end of a yoga class. It is arguably the toughest pose in yoga. Even if your body is ready for that rest, calming your mind can be tricky. Savasana moved from being my most dreaded part of class, to my hardest part, and finally to my favorite.
I used to dread it because I was so eager to either check my phone or catch the subway to my next thing. So much so that I often left during Savasana. I believed that class was over at this point and that those that stayed surely weren’t as busy as I was. I learned later, of course, that they were just more enlightened on the benefits and importance of the pose.
Fast forward to my second year of practicing yoga, and Savasana shifted to my toughest pose. I learned to appreciate its importance, and began staying through the end of class, but still loathed Savasana. I would lay there with multiple thoughts running through my head during what felt like an eternity before the teacher spoke again to close out the class: I have to pee. Did I put enough money in the meter? Is the person next to me snoring? What if I am missing an important phone call or message? Is broccoli on my grocery list? Did I remember to attach the file in the last email I sent earlier at work? Did I feed my dog enough food today? My nose itches. You get the idea…
Over the next three years of practicing, my appreciation for the art of relaxing strengthened. By the time I started my yoga teacher training, five years after taking my first class, I longed for Savasana. So much so that I even became a proud owner of a shirt labeled “I’m just here for the Savasana.” It’s such pure bliss when your body enjoys a rest and your mind embraces peace and clarity. Such beauty. Such magic. Yet, unsurprisingly one of the most challenging poses around.