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Living with intention, Things my yoga teacher said

You Are Responsible for the Energy You Bring Into a Space

This is one of those things my yoga teacher said over a year ago that has stuck with me. I remind myself of this whenever I’m feeling crabby and it helps me at least put on a happy-ish face, which generally results in feeling less crabby. 

About Savasana

About Savasana, pt. 2: Go ahead and skip it


Maybe you have to get back to work. Or your kid needs to be picked up. Maybe you have four hours to yourself for the entire week and feel like you have to keep moving. Maybe Savasana doesn’t feel good.

If you don’t enjoy it, or don’t have the time, fine. Skip it.

It’s a whole different thing to “do yoga” and skip savasana. And it’s fine.

I practiced yoga, off and on, for nearly 18 years (more off than on) before I gave myself enough time to ride Savasana out. Savasana is the Sanskrit word for what is sometimes Corpse Pose, which I wrote about in About Savasana, pt. 1.

So if it isn’t for you, don’t. It’s totally fine to practice yoga without Savasana.

A wise person once said, “Some parts of yoga, you just put over here, put them aside, and you might come back to it and you might not.” I’m paraphrasing but this is the kernel of it.

Whatever you get out of yoga, do that. Put the other stuff on the shelf.

About Savasana, Yoga for non-yoga people

More about Savasana

Since I wrote about savasana post savasana yesterday, I was in a place with strong feelings. 24 hours + another yoga class with savasana later, I have a few more thoughts and a major retraction. Today won’t be the day I write it all out because it’s Friday, we’re heading into a busy weekend, and I haven’t organized it all yet. But I’ll say that yesterday’s post About Savasana is now officially going to be the first in an About Savasana series. Tktktk. 

About Savasana, meditation

About Savasana, pt. 1

As far as I can deduce, a typical yoga session boils down to three steps:

1. Breathing (Pranayama)

2. Movement or flow (Asana)

3. Rest and meditation (Savasana)
EDIT: this was originally a one-off post that evolved into a series about savasana. Read this, but read the retraction and further thoughts, too. 

There are infinite iterations of the above, and some days we focus on one or two of these things vs. the balance of the three, but we are always working up to Savasana.

Aka, “corpse pose.” This is where we seal in our practice. Empty the mind. Not focus. Personally, I don’t like the word corpse for this pose. Words I associate with corpse: heavy, end, final, haulted, bloated, decomposing, final, done.

In my mind, I call Savasana “float pose.” Like it sounds:

Shah – vah – sahn – ah
Words I associate with Savasana, or floating: light, free, flat, lifted, airy, clear, soft, open, beginning.

Perhaps this is a novice approach. Maybe I don’t understand Savasana. Maybe we all have a different understanding. In fact, some people skip Savasana altogether. I get it. That used to be me, spinning off and rushing to the next thing. But I embrace Savasana as the float. I’d rather start the next thing lifted, open, and light.

Living with intention

Lessons from Lithops and other plants

About two months ago, I decided to try my hand at succulents. I shopped around and added twenty plants to an online shopping cart, then got to work sketching where I would plant them. When I researched light requirements in-depth, I realized that the rocky succulent garden I had in mind would not work in front of the house, becuase these plants prefer Southern exposure.

As my garden progressed, I uncovered small hurdles… some plants need more nutrients, some less. Some are easily sunburned. Very few can handle winters here in zone 8a. My list of plants that could thrive here was getting shorter and shorter.

I deleted the online shopping cart and went to the local nursery. I let my kids each pick out a succulent, and my daughter picked a Lithops… a “living rock.” Sounds easy to care for, right?

After a few weeks in it’s new home, the plant started showing signs of ill health. The old me would have tried to revive it. More water, less water. More sun, less sun. The old me would have tried to do anything recover the plant, before tossing it into the compost heap for recycling.


But the now me, the me who accepts that I alone cannot do all the things, know all the things, and fix all the things, recognized that it was time to go to my community for guidance. I posted a photo of my sickly lithops, and immediately learned that it was, in fact, NOT a lithops, but a close relative called pleiospilos nelii. Not a living rock but a “split rock.” The extra leaves that we found appealing at the nursery are, in fact, a sign that the plant was in transition, and in fact I shouldn’t save them… they will feed the plant and shrivel. We had sunburned the plant by putting it in too strong sunlight, for too long, too soon. We had overwatered. We had made assumptions based on research, trusted the nursery would only sell a perfect plant, but we lacked the experience and patience to set the plant up properly.

We are not at our best acting solitarily, living in a vaccuum. Our plants, our selves, require not only sun and water, but patience, support and imput from those who have “been there,” acceptance of who and where we are, and time.

When I looked at this plant, I saw a plant that was dying. But people who have “been there” have assured me that if we re-pot the plant in the appropriate growing media, slowly acclimate it to it’s new home, and wait, the damage will “grow out,” the sunburned leaves will shrivel and nourish the plant, and new, healthy leaves with eventually grow.