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The Revolutionary Practice of Rest

Written by on December 29, 2020 in Uncategorized with 0 Comments

I’ve been blessed to have many wonderful teachers in my life. One of my most influential  teachers is Judith Lasater. She is a well-respected senior teacher living in the United States, a close student of yoga great B.K.S. Iyengar, and basically invented the concept of Restore Yoga. She was a founder for The California Yoga Teachers Association, the Iyengar Yoga Institute in San Francisco, and Yoga Journal magazine. I love her teachings. One teaching in particular is very pertinent around this time of year. One practice she does every year, something that is completely life-changing, is during the days between Christmas and New Years she practices only one pose. Savasana.

Savasana: A Singular Pose

Savasana, or corpse pose, is the resting pose you experience normally at the end of asana practice, or several times during a Restore Yoga practice. Judith Lasater suggests an entire week of practicing only Savasana. That’s it. 

 

If we think of our entire year like a practice, it seems fitting that at the end of the year, we spend a little time resting, especially after the year we’ve just had. We need a nice, lengthy Savasana … and then maybe a stiff drink (click here for the original recipe of my CORONA Cocktail).


 

May I invite you to consider spending some dedicated time in Savasana for the next several days. Try resting as a practice. If you’re a doer, you might find it very difficult. Just like many medicines, often the medicine that is the most needed is often the hardest to take. 

 

Photo by David Newkirk

Here’s what you do …

 

Close the door and alert your family, room mates, and pets that you’ll be unavailable for a while. Set yourself up on a yoga mat, couch, or bed. You may wish to put a cushion or bolster under your knees, a pillow or blanket under your  head and an eye pillow over your eyes. I’ve discovered that if you don’t have an eye-pillow, a COVID mask doubles nicely as an eye mask. You may also want a blanket on top of you. Set a timer for anywhere from 30–90 minutes, so you’re not worried about time. Then lay down, close your eyes and rest. Don’t worry about any other poses. Just Savasana. Don’t fret about burning off all the cookies that Santa didn’t bother to take with him. Just relax. 

 

The Pull of Busyness

You may spend the first practice simply fighting the urge to get up and go do “something.” Practice instead simply watching this impulse to busy yourself. May I suggest not judging it, just practice noticing it and notice how much of a hold that chronic busyness has on your mind. 

 

 

If you like, as a way of practicing a deeper Savasana, you may download this wonderful, end of the year Yoga Nidra practice (relaxing guided meditation) and let it lead you through past, present, and future as you create what you’d like to see for yourself moving forward into 2021 and beyond. 


 

Best of luck on your restful journey. I guarantee that you’ll learn volumes about yourself.  You’ll deepen in every practice. Perhaps even from your first session, you’ll emerge feeling clear-headed, energized, and rested. 

 

“God REST ye merry gentlemen (and women and non-binary folks, thank ye very much).”

Email me at scott@scottmooreyoga.com and let me know how it goes!

 

Scott Moore is a senior teacher of yoga and mindfulness in the US. He’s taught classes, trainings and workshops in New York, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and L.A. as well as in Europe and Asia. Scott is the author of Practical Yoga Nidra: The 10-Step Method to Reduce Stress, Improve Sleep, and Restore Your Spirit. When he's not teaching or conducting retreats, he loves to write for print and online publications such as Yogi Times, Conscious Life News, Elephant Journal, Mantra Magazine, Medium, and his own blog at scottmooreyoga.com. Scott also loves to run, play the saxophone, and travel with his wife and son. Check out his yoga retreats and trainings in places like Tuscany, France, and Hong Kong , his online Yoga Nidra Course and his Yoga Teacher Mentor Program. Scott is currently living in Salt Lake City after living in Southern France with his family.

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