Friday, November 7, 2008

Guest Blogger #1: Darlee on Savasana

It's been a struggle, getting back on the Yoga Horse. I've been a bit laid up as of late, what with postherpetic neuralgia, which is a BIZITCH. but at least i ain't gots it SO bad. It was Anusara for me today, which feels like Diet Yoga after the Power Vinyasa/Ab crunch/Enlightened Boot Camp routine. Still, not much to say about it, and so I'm happy to pass the podium to another Yoga enthusiast. I like to see initiative, and so am handing over the mic to one Darlee- the first respondent to the call for guest bloggers- from..........hell, I don't know, where the fuck you from, Darlee? Anyway, she voices concerns about Shivasana, and as I likes me some shivasana- the repose at the end of class- I'm inclined to agree with her.....

“Hey yoga teacher! shhhh!

What's the deal with shavasana? Why, after 60 or 90 minutes filled with (mostly missed) opportunities to say something meaningful or helpful during the asana part of class, do yoga teachers use this precious "quiet-time" to talk? Or read out loud? Or even to SING? I don't know.

Shavasana (savasana) is THE time for rest in yoga. Not just rest for the body or mind- but for the spirit. For some yogis it's the best rest in the entire work/sleep cycle. The benefits of silence are tremendous, especially after yoga practice. Unfortunately, yoga teachers often use savasana as an opportunity to show how "spiritual" or "woo-woo" or "yogic" they are.

Ed. Note: I'm not entirely sure what "woo-woo" means, but I'm feeling it's an onomatopœia for fru-fru "steeped in the ancient traditions of Deepest Darkest India" spirituality....

I already can hear some yoga teachers saying, "If I don’t talk to them they'll jump right off their mats after class and run." Well, I’m here to tell you- the minute you ask me to close my eyes and imagine myself at some exotic locale, or ask me to direct an imaginary white light through my chakras- I am ready to go AT THAT VERY MOMENT!

Ed. Note for the Yoga layperson- I believe, if my facts are together correctly, it is white for the head chakra, blue for the heart chakra, and red for the, uhhh, anus chakra. Conveniently patriotic!

These scenes, speeches and songs are NOT relaxing. They feed the yoga teacher's ego rather than leaving the students in silence to be with their own inner voice. If you must, play a nice drone music CD with some tamboura, perhaps, or a sweet soft chanting CD, BUT PLEASE: no incense in the yoga room! Don’t get me started…that's an entirely different post!

Ed Note: I love incense, but I take her point- even as a fan, I find it a little alarming to add sensory stimulation when you are supposed to withdrawl from your senses- it's called 'corpse' pose for a reason...

So PLEASE, teachers think about this: swami chidvilasananda said "when there is senseless talking, you can not hear the voice of your own self." Shhhhh! there is so much for your yogis and for YOU to hear from your silence! God speaks in silence.”

And there we have it. Teachers, did you get that- LET US CHILL. Of course, given my track record, you can certainly give me a kick in the ribs if I start to snore, as I am wont to do.

COMING SOON: The Yoga Cop and (I swear) Bikram Yoga.


darlie said...

uh, darlie is from TEXAS. i am a yoga teacher, who also loves being a yoga student. oh, and thanks for the translations in the post. i feel so... understood!

Bananasana said...

For real? A teacher? Kudos to you then. And sorry 'bout the extra 'e'.