The pace of the day can be exhausting when our lives become filled every minute with working, caring for loved ones, cleaning, washing, preparing meals, taking care of the yard, doctor appointments, home repairs, scheduling activities and lastly, taking care of ourself, especially during the holiday season. Somehow the order of our everyday life becomes “out-of-order.”
The emphasis in yoga class is taking care of oneself first, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually in order to calmly and fully give to others. A Yoga class is a setting in which to participate and hone the values that strengthen the forces of life and expand them fully into the world. It is like dropping a small rock in a pond and observing the ripples slowly expanding into large rings. Yoga is a place to renew and revive, pressing away the enclosing walls of the world by going “within” to the quietness of the inner sanctuary, actuated by calm, slow deep breathing and sharing the beauty within with others seeking to enlarge their inner sanctuary of peace.
At the end of every yoga class, we turn out the lights, lay outstretched on the yoga mat with legs up the wall. This is “Shevasana,” the final restorative pose. When we lie on the mat in Shavasana or with legs up the wall, the outside world fades. Any distracting thoughts pass through the mind/body like little butterflies, for another time. In “Shavasana,” the breath expands the front thoracic cavity on the inhale with a deep release of carbon dioxide/tension stored in the body, on the exhale. “Concentration” inward is the key to relaxation in the body and mind. Breathe and relax as you come in touch with your inner peace and renew. Iyengar yoga is slow moving with concentration/focus on each move before it is initiated. Every posture we practice in class is a pose to take home.
We evolve through our yoga practice and establish a greater authenticity in our life as we discover our own uniqueness. The very last mediation in yoga ends in the word “Namaste” with palms together in front of the “Heart Chakra.”