A Change in Relaxation Approach
Updated: Apr 27, 2020
For the longest time, I stood fast to the concept of not imparting too much of myself into Final Relaxation, or Savasana. There are many reasons for this.
1) I believe we don't have enough qualified silence in our daily lives, so three-to-five minutes at the end of yoga practice are sacred. No music, none of my jabber, just a stillness as whatever you thought or felt during your session settles into or leaves your body.
2) You don't need me to guide this part of your practice. To impart how I think you should experience it is overstreching my influence a bit.
3) If I walk around rubbing shoulders, putting oil on foreheads, and other soothing gestures, you may be in a place where that touch or other presence takes you out of the space you were meant to be in. Now, I love these things, don't get me wrong. But #1 and #2 still apply.
Then, some students asked if I knew of any inspirational messages, words of wisdom/guidance, or poetry they could use to enhance the experience. When I sub for other instructors, they often read something to their students at the end of class, so I try to follow their methods. It usually ties into a particular theme they might be studying or have another significance. So when I started a new series, I announced that I'd try a few readings as they were easing into final relaxation. I time it to still have that qualitative silence, so the readings I choose can't require more than a minute to say aloud. I choose people who have particular messages that are positive, introspective, mind-expanding. After a few weeks of this, I asked students if they wanted me to continue, and the “Yes!” was unanimous. They've enjoyed the readings...and the messages...intently.
Some say it helps them transition into Savasana a little easier...others enjoy the aspect of storytelling...still others are kind enough to say they like hearing my voice tell them a story. So, we continue.
I could share dozens of selections here that have resonated with all of us. But here's just one sample by the wonderful poet Danusha Laméris.