Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Consciously place your mind.

Last week I was reading Cyndi Lee's newsletter in which she talked about basic mindfulness meditation and the instructions to "consciously place your mind." As most of my students know by now, Savasana is my favorite posture to teach. There is so much there. To be able to consciously relax offers us a respite for all that ails us.

When I read those words, "consciously place your mind", I was so excited. What perfect words to share with my class! A lot of yoga practice is about putting your body into different physical positions, some people would even say contorting the body. We spend years learning to balance, bend, stretch, open, and twist. Savasana doesn't require that same coordination, but it involves a similar intention. Just as we position our bodies, so too can we position our minds, consciously place them in a state of relaxation.

I've learned in my own practice and observed over the last twelve years as a teacher, that Savasana is the pose that takes the most work to get into and it is the easiest pose to fall out of. My personal balance in Savasana is tenuous: I can lose my focus if I am not fully engaged. Everyone has something that helps them reach a place of conscious relaxation, and for many, that thing changes daily. Focusing on the rhythm of your breath, keeping your eyes fixed on one spot, following the movement of breath in and out of your nose. For me, recognizing the similarity between my physical practice and my mental practice in Savasana has helped profoundly. I work so hard to coordinate all of my limbs in Garurasana, twisting, pulling, bending. I am very consciously positioning my arms and legs and hips and shoulders. Now, when Savasana comes, I tell myself, "consciously place your mind Laura." And just as I tell my body where to go, I am helping my mind to find its place.

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