Books about yoga, meditation, My yoga teacher said...

Not now

I learned something new today. A cue to get your mind off of something, whether you’re fixated on the seven minutes you will be late getting to a meeting, or you’re trying to meditate. Whenever you are wondering, worried, or find your mind wandering, say to yourself: “Not now.”

You are going to be late, whether you worry or not. Bring yourself back to calm. “Not now.

Often in yoga, we say to focus on your breath to clear the head. But sometimes this becomes an overthinking about the breath. Not now. Don’t think about that now.

The technique was written about in Meditations on Intention and Being, by Rolf Gates, and my mentor gets 100% of credit for introducing this to me by reading the passage at the end of class today.

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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.