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This week you’ve got homework

In my last post I was talking about the value of relaxation and how sometimes this important element of a yoga class is actually undervalued.

This time I want to discuss how the relaxation pose (savasana or corpse pose) can be misunderstood. And by misunderstood I’m talking about those students who see it as time for a snooze! The idea of relaxation is to let the mind and body lay in perfect stillness but not to nod off, tempting though that is!

I’ve mentioned a couple of times in the last blogs that savasana is considered to be master posture. It’s not as easy as it looks and trying not to view it as a chance to catch up on some zzzz’s can be a challenge. I have to say that I think “Corpse pose” an unfortunate posture name and possibly why some students enter snoresville the minute I dim the lights. An article in Yoga Journal recently suggested a couple of more apt translations of savasana: “Observant Dead Person” pose or “Deceased on the Outside but still Rockin’ on the Inside” pose. These made me smile and whist they are not really catchy pose titles I understand what they mean.

When we are laid in savasana we are as still as a corpse, no need to move, to do anything other than just be. In this state, if we are lucky, we can connect with our true self, be observant of our true self and achieve (again in the words of Yoga Journal) “tranquil mindfulness”. This however is easier said than done! If you are like most people, you’ll probably find it difficult to strike that balance between keeping the mind alert enough to stop you nodding off, yet relaxed enough to stop the endless mind chatter…

….But you know what, the only way to get better at something is to practise! So, teacher is setting you homework – Go and relax, daily and I’ll know if you’ve not done it, so don’t make me put you on detention! Ix

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