As I sit waiting for my employment contract to surface through the wheels of corporate structure I have technically been unemployed since January 1st and I’m not going crazy.. yet.. but my mind shifts frequently. One moment the break is so gratifying, energizing and clarifying and on the other hand I miss my daily grind of corporate communications and the satisfaction I feel when I’ve completed a project.
The uncertainty in my line of work has had me sway from elation and joy to anxiety and depression and feeling overworking until I’m on my final shred of sanity as I struggle to juggle two children, 30 hours work week and no permanent part-time babysitter, as of yet. Weekends and weekdays blur into blocks of colorful fall leaves swirling into snow drifts as temperatures dip into the low digits in a mid January tornado.
I finally decided, or life did, that I needed to take my full savasana. It always seems that with my busyness in life that I cut myself short in the all encompassing assimilating benefits of savasana in my yoga practice, you know, only the most important part of your practice, where it’s intended to rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit. Your breath deepens, and the stress of the day is released. You forget all other thoughts and surrender any psychological effort. You slip blissfully into neutrality and reflect on the practice. Integration is what it’s all about.
For reasons that I can’t explain I didn’t think savasana was THAT important. If I did a one min savasana, that would be enough, wouldn’t it? But a full 10-20 minutes of savasana? I would be literally trampled by a toddler trying to off-road his balance bike over my legs while simultaneously his brother would use my head as target practice with his monster truck. Good times.
To the non yogi, savasana might look like a nice well deserved nap at the end of your yoga practice. But it’s actually a fully conscious pose aimed at being awake, yet completely relaxed. This is why it is one of the hardest poses in yoga. When you are fully conscious, present, you are forced to be in the now, and that is difficult for a lot of people, including me.
So why is savasana so important? A yoga practice will create new neural pathways. Savasana allows the nervous system to integrate those pathways in a state of full conscious. Allowing these new pathways to be integrated is important because it takes many repetitions until those new pathways will replace the old. Awareness is turned inwards and savasana then becomes the beginning of deeper, meditative state. In a state of sensory withdrawal, it becomes easier to be aware of the breath and the state of the mind itself. It’s a form of meditation. “In particular, Yogi Bhajan included savasana with Sat Kriya, saying that it was important to rest for an equal amount of time to your active practice in order to integrate the benefits.” Read more about savasana here.
So what is my takeaway? More Savasana. Much more. Everyday, for 10-20 min if I can get away without being injured by a flying toy truck. Sat Nam!