I fell in love with yoga in the early 2000’s when classes were a minimum of 90 minutes long and ended with a minimum of 15 minutes in savasana. The love affair was profound. I couldn’t get enough of that indescribable feeling at the end of a sweaty practice with a long, sweet savasana.
I’ve been in a complicated relationship with my yoga practice lately. Until recently, I haven’t felt much of the spark or the longing to be on my mat. And I missed the feeling of being in love with my practice.
Earlier this year, I enrolled in a restorative teacher training as part of my life inquiry around rest and burnout (the inquiry: what the heck actually is rest and how do people have time for that?) and started to find myself craving that time on my mat again.
Our only homework assignment in the training was to do a 20 minute savasana everyday. I realized I hadn't had that indescribable savasana experience in a looooong time…maybe years? Classes have made a shift to 60 minutes as the norm with a 2-5 min savasana in many cases, and if I'm honest, when I practice online at home I often shorten savasana or skip it.
I resisted the daily assignment for a while. I have all the typical stories that I am “too busy” with a toddler and a business and a part-time job, but I also (luckily in this case) have a story that I am a “good student” so I did the assignment.
The first few savasanas were hard. I mostly laid there making to-do lists in my head, mentally drafting emails, thinking about the dishes in the sink, and fidgeting around with my bolsters and blankets. Or I crashed into sleep from exhaustion and was jolted awake 20 minutes later by my alarm, feeling groggy and annoyed that I was more tired than I was 20 minutes ago.
Side note: It's super normal to feel more restless before you feel rested, and to feel more exhausted when you first start resting…many of us never get through this initial step and (sadly) give up on rest as a concept. While it only takes a millisecond for our nervous systems to switch into fight/flight (for very good survival reasons), it can take many minutes, days, weeks, months, or even years for our nervous systems to switch into rest after trauma or prolonged periods of stress.
I continued the daily savasana practice, and my experience during that 20 minutes started to shift. My mind settled faster. I wasn't as exhausted so my body didn't need to crash into sleep immediately. I was able to access that indescribable savasana feeling that had started this love affair so many years ago, and I am remembering why I love to be on my mat.
p.s. I would love to practice yoga with you! Check out my free practice bundles HERE.