The pace of the day can be exhausting when our lives become filled every minute with working, caring for loved ones, cleaning, washing, preparing meals, taking care of the yard, doctor appointments, home repairs, scheduling activities and lastly, taking care of our self. Somehow this order is “out-of-order.”
The emphasis in yoga class is taking care of oneself first, mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually in order to calmly and fully give to others. A yoga class is a setting in which to participate and hone the values that strengthen the forces of life and expand them fully into the world. It is like dropping a small rock in a pond and observing the ripples slowly expanding into large rings.
Yoga is a place to renew and revive, pressing away the enclosing walls of the world by going “within” to the quietness of the inner sanctuary, actuated by calm, slow deep breathing and sharing the beauty within with others seeking to enlarge their inner sanctuary of peace.
At the end of every yoga class, we turn out the lights, lay outstretched on the yoga mat or “With Legs Up the Wall” eyes closed and focused inward. This what we call Shevasana, or the “Restorative Pose.” When we lie on the mat in Shavasana or with “Legs Up the Wall,” the outside world fades. We let any distracting thoughts pass through the mind and body like little butterflies, for another time.
In Shavasana, we deeply breath, expand the front thoracic cavity then exhale and release carbon dioxide and tension stored in the body. Concentration inward is the key to relaxation so the body and mind can restore energy and become calm.
So take your yoga mat and place it against a solid wall. Lie down and lengthen both legs up the wall. Breathe and relax. This is a good pose to do at the end of your practice. There is no time limit as you are coming in touch with your inner peace and renewal. If your legs become tired, then you can bring both feet together and rest them against the wall. Enjoy and relax!
Shavasana is everyone’s favorite pose, especially after a focused session of initiating different yoga postures, holding and repeating them as we tweak them into the correct form for the most health benefits.
Iyengar Yoga is slow moving with concentration and focus. We analyze each movement and visualize the posture. We perform each asana with grace and power. Every posture we practice in class is a pose to “take home.”
We evolve through our yoga practice and establish a greater authenticity in our life as we discover our own uniqueness of knowledge. The very last mediation in yoga ends with the word Namaste: “The beauty in me, greets the beauty in you.”