My favorite part of yoga class is the relaxation at the end. While the instructor dims the lights, we lie on our backs on our yoga mats, cover up with a blanket or coat to stay warm, and close our eyes. We position our bodies in Savasana (shah-
When I first tried Savasana, it struck me that, as an adult with a grown daughter, I hardly ever spend time on the floor. Yet, the floor is such a wonderful place to be. Being on the floor is naturally grounding, so to speak. The floor levels the playing field by magically making everyone feel relaxed, free and creative, no matter what age.
Recently, I was talking with a woman who was singing the praises of yoga and her yoga instructor. Yoga helps this woman manage the pain and flexibility issues of osteoarthritis. She mentioned that her yoga instructor says, “If you can do only one yoga pose, make it Savasana.
It made me wonder: Why is Savasana the best? An Internet search revealed the same perspective from every source. Savasana offers the opportunity to practice mindful relaxation. In other words, Savasana helps us to let go: To let go of the day’s events, stress, worry—anything we’re hanging on to. Stress, left unchecked, can lead to a variety of health problems such as headaches, insomnia, back pain, and depression.
How often do you take time to relax and let go? I know I don’t do it often enough. I also know I have a hard time relaxing of my own accord. That’s one of the many benefits of a yoga class for me—the time has been set aside for this particular event and the instructor is telling me to relax—so, I do as I’m told!
If you decide to take a yoga class, make sure it’s right for you. Be sure it’s led by a qualified instructor who is able to take into consideration your health issues and physical abilities and will help tailor the poses to meet your needs.
Find the Right Yoga Class for You
- Check with your doctor: If you’re in good health, yoga can help relieve stress, increase flexibility, maintain strength and improve balance. When combined with doctor-
recommended treatment, yoga can help manage symptoms of chronic illnesses.
- Choose a style of yoga that suits you: Is the class suitable for beginners? What is the focus of the class? Does it fit your needs such as stress management or is it a more vigorous workout?
- Find a qualified instructor you like: Where did the instructor learn yoga and how long has he or she been teaching? Does the instructor have experience working with students with your needs or health concerns?
- Go at your own pace/
Listen to your body: If a pose is uncomfortable, don’t do it. You don’t have to do every pose that’s demonstrated or hold the pose for as long as the instructor does. You can modify yoga poses using blocks, straps and other tools so that you don’t overstretch—ask the instructor for assistance.
- Don’t compare yourself to others: It’s not about being as flexible as someone else—it’s about starting where you are and doing what’s right for your body.