Weeks 8–10: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days




I’d love to share that the last leg of my 66 days of forming a yoga habit were a roaring success and I now have a steadfast daily practice – but nope, that’s not the case.

During Weeks 8–10 I was travelling through Bolivia to Argentina. La Paz, Bolivia is about 4000m above sea level and the altitude was starting to get to me and I’d picked up a stomach bug, I was generally feel pretty unwell.  Yoga practice was the last thing on my mind! Not how I planned to finish my daily yoga habit challenge at all. 

Week 8–10: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days Summary

La Paz and Copacabana, Bolivia

·      Number of days that I practiced both Yoga and Meditation: 0

·      Number of days I just practiced Yoga: 1

I was happy to get to Buenos Aires and chill out at the apartment we had rented. Unfortunately, long-term travel isn’t always glamorous!

Even though the daily yoga habit challenge didn’t end on a positive note I have picked up some tips for making daily yoga a little easier to achieve and will be sharing those here at The Yoga Class soon.

Namaste

 

 

 

Week 7: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days

Well, my 66 days of TRYING to form a daily yoga habit are well and truely over and I’m playing catch-up with posting my last few weeks of my personal yoga challenge.

Intensive travelling after leaving Nicaragua really made it difficult to practice yoga and meditation everyday, here’s how I went with my daily yoga while travelling through Peru.

Week 7: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days Summary:

·      Number of days that I practiced both Yoga and Meditation: 3 of 7 days

·      Number of days I just practiced Yoga: 0 of 7 days

·      Number of days I didn’t practice either Yoga or Mediation: 4 of 7 days

Days 43 – 44 of 66 — Cusco, Peru

Off to a good start to Week 7 in Cusco, practiced both yoga and meditation on both days! Cusco is quite a cute little city, it’s a very busy little place as it’s the main starting point for most people going to see Machu Picchu — that’s why we’re here.

Days 45 – 46 of 66 Days — Agua Calientes and Machu Picchu, Peru

No practice on the transit day to Agua Calientes or the day at Machu Picchu unfortunately. Up very early to get to the train for the 3 or so hours ride to Agua Calientes (closest town to Machu Picchu) and then up very early get to Machu Picchu. 

 

Day 47 of 66 Days

Transiting from Agua Calientes to Cusco, Peru

No practice. Too tired, bitten, dirty – no showers working in our hotel! The VERY unglamorous side to travel. But more than worth it to see the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu!

Day 48 of 66 Days

Cusco, Peru

No practice. And now sick, plus tired and bitten. But clean!  

Day 49 of 66 Days

Transiting from Cusco, Peru to La Paz, Bolivia

Ended Week 7 on a high with both yoga and meditation practice. Woohoo!

Namaste

 

Week 6: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days

It’s fair say that the last few weeks of my Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days challenge have been very difficult.

My long-term travelling has been a gift but does sometimes make daily Yoga tough. But I’m still determined to finish these weekly updates to try to understand the complexities that help form a Yoga habit and share them here at The Yoga Class. Here is Week 6…

I ended Week 5 of forming my daily yoga habit in New York City and spend half of Week 6 there too. The City has been epic! It was my second trip to New York City and I’m blown away by its energy, beauty and rawness.

 

Week 6: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days Summary

·      Number of days that I practiced both Yoga and Meditation: 3 of 7 days

·      Number of days I just practiced Yoga: 0 of 7 days

·      Number of days I didn’t practice either Yoga or Mediation: 4 of 7 days

Days 36 – 38 of 66 Days

New York City

After a few days in the Big Apple my daily Yoga and Meditation mojo was at an all time low. This meant no practice for three days! Feeling guilty much?!

Day 39 of 66 Days

New York City – Lima, Peru

Transit day to Peru from New York, via Florida = an 18 hour day. These are the days when travelling doesn’t seem so appealing! Alas to say that I didn’t get to roll out my Yoga mat today. Ah, transit days, unfortunately a necessary evil sometimes!

 Days 40 – 42 of 66 Days

Lima, Peru

Slowly getting some Yoga and Mediation back in South America! It’s my first time of the Continent and so far I like Peru and can’t wait to see and explore more!

I managed to practice both Yoga and a guided Mediation every morning, it helped that four nights in Lima were deemed New York recovery days.

Onto Week 7!

Namaste.

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Week 5: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days

After a somewhat unsuccessful Week 4 I decided that I needed to change my perspective about my daily Yoga and Meditation practice.

I was using travelling and being in transit as excuses not to even try to meet my goal of daily Yoga and Meditation practice. After Week 4 where I pretty much gave myself permission to not meet my goal of practicing Yoga and Meditation everyday for 66 days.

I think the reality is that there will always be something – whether it be travelling or being too tired not thinking that there is enough time – to practice Yoga and Meditation daily. And ultimately are these just all excuses? Regardless of how convincing they seem at the time.

Week 5: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days Summary

·      Number of days that I practiced both Yoga and Meditation: 4 of 7 days

·      Number of days I just practiced Yoga: 1 of 7 days

·      Number of days I didn’t practice either Yoga or Mediation: 2 of 7 days

Day 29 of 66

Monteverde to San Jose, Costa Rica

On Day 29, we transited from Monteverde to San Jose, Costa Rica. I made sure to practice Yoga in the morning prior to making our way to catch the bus to San Jose.

No Meditation practice though, but baby steps to implementing what I know works for me – morning practice.

Day 30 of 66

San Jose, Costa Rica

Day 30 and I did manage to practice both Yoga and Meditation – but in the afternoon. I’m still having a hard time always implementing a morning practice *sigh*.

Day 31 of 66

San Jose, Costa Rica to New York City, U.S.A

Day 31 and another transit day – this time from San Jose, Costa Rica to New York City.  We’re ultimately trying to get to South America and it turns out that a good option is to go via the United States – it doesn’t make too much sense but….

It also meant a reasonably early start to the day in San Jose. So, I left my Yoga mat unrolled the night and got straight onto it the moment I woke up. No bathroom stop, no getting distracted – just Yoga and Meditation.

I started my Yoga sequence with some mat asanas (poses). Read: rolling around on my back for a bit and then I immediately practiced a Guided Meditation straight after my Yoga asana practice.

Day 32 of 66 Days

New York City to Philadelphia to New York City, U.S.A

Today was a rough day. We didn’t get to our hotel until after midnight and was up by 5.30am to get to Philadelphia for an impromptu family get-together and then back to New York.

I know, no excuses but there was zero time in the day to practice.

Day 33 of 66 Days

New York City, U.S.A.

Wow – how time flies by – Day 33 is half way through my 66 days of forming a daily Yoga and Meditation practice. I did manage to practice both Yoga and Mediation despite the epic day yesterday.

Day 34 of 66 Days

New York City, U.S.A.

No practice today. It’s fair to say that New York kicked my butt a bit. The City is fantastic and there is so much to do and see – plenty of days spent walking around seeing everything the City has to offer. While it’s been great it has also meant mild exhaustion – I’m getting soft after a month in the Nicaraguan jungle!

Day 35 of 66 Days

New York City, U.S.A.

Today I practiced both Yoga and Meditation in the morning in our tiny New York hotel room. And again, I just practiced as soon as I woke up. 

Lessons learned half way through forming a daily Yoga and Meditation habit:

1.     Mind set is a huge part of the process – it may seem obvious but it’s still a big obstacle to overcome. If I think I’m too tired or busy then my practice won’t happen.

2.     For me, morning Yoga and Meditation practice works best. Then my practice is done for the day. No wasting mental energy thinking about having to practice throughout the day. And, even bigger, not feeling guilty about not having practiced yet.

3.     Practice Yoga and Meditation together as one practice

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Week 4: Forming a Daily Yoga Practice in 66 Days

Week 4 of 10: Forming a Daily Yoga Practice in 6 Days has been the most challenging week so far. I spent 2 of the 7 days in transit. And although the days weren’t particularly grueling, those days still took their toll.

We left Playa Maderas, Nicaragua on Day 22, transited to San Juan del Sur for the night so we could catch an early taxi to the border. We transited across the border to Costa Rica on Day 23 – it was a long but smooth travel day.  

We arrived in Monterverde, Costa Rica in the late afternoon, it was already getting dark but we made it to our accommodation with no problems. Monteverde is so much cooler than Playa Maderas and it was a welcome change.

On Day 25 I didn’t practice either Yoga or Meditation – the first day since the beginning of the 66 day forming a daily Yoga practice challenge.

And I only practiced both Yoga and Meditation on 3 days of Week 4 – I’m disappointed in myself. I’m also feeling that my premonitions about having difficulty keeping up my daily practice when travelling quickly was a self fulfilling prophecy – meaning that I told myself that I would fail. And then I did.

Here’s my summary of my daily Yoga and Meditation practice struggles of Week 4.

Week 4: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days Summary

Day 22 of 66

Today I practiced Yoga and a Guided Meditation in the morning before we made our way to San Juan del Sur for the night before heading to the border to get to Costa Rica.

Even though it was only a 45-minute ride between Playa Maderas and San Juan, I didn’t want to risk there being a reason not to practice if I put my practice off until later in the day.

But I still have difficulty practicing in the morning everyday, even though I know that morning practice is best for me and ensures that I don’t miss a day.

Day 23 of 66

I managed to get in my Yoga practice in before catching a 7.30am taxi to the border between Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Unfortunately I did not practice Meditation.

Day 24 of 66

The second day in Monteverde, I had gotten over the tiredness from being in transit for 2 days.

Today I practiced Yoga and Guided Meditation in the morning before we headed to the Santa Elena Cloud Forest. The Cloud Forrest is beautiful and serene and worth the effort to get there.

Day 25 of 66

No Yoga or Meditation practice today – the first day since starting the challenge that I completely missed a day of practice. I was exhausted from hours of walking the previous day. I’m always amazed at how easy it is for me to lose my cardio fitness levels.

Day 26 of 66

Yoga but no Meditation

Day 27 of 66

Yoga and a Guided Meditation

Day 28 of 66

Not at all inspired to practice today. I only manage a Yoga practice but no Meditation *sigh*.

My plan is to ensure that I practice early in the morning and practice Meditation straight after Yoga practice. I need to change my mindset and not let travelling be an excuse not to practice Yoga and Meditation daily.

Onto to Week 5 – more changes as we travel on from Monteverde to San Jose, Costa Rica and then up to New York City and Philadelphia –  and hopefully a change in my mindset too.

Namaste

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Week 3: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days

Finishing Week 3 of Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days also means the last week of our stay in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua. It’s been a very relaxing one-month stay here with lots of surfing, yoga and hammock-ing (with Mimca our almost pet cat for the month).

During Week 3 I started my daily Yoga and Meditation practice by doing my daily Yoga and Meditation in the mornings only. I feel less guilty practicing in the morning because I’ve already completed by practiced for the day and don’t waste mental energy unnecessarily thinking that I still have to practice throughout the day. It also means that on those days I feel calmer and more centered for the majority of the day.

But by Day 2 of Week 3 I started having a difficult time with my Meditation. I was getting distracted about thinking about future travel plans and I guess itchy feet to move onto our next destination – Costa Rica.

Week 3: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days Summary

Day 15

It is just over 2 weeks into my 66 days of daily Yoga and Meditation. Today I practiced Yoga, a Guided Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation.

I was mindful to get my practice done early in the morning because today it’s the weekly run from Playa Maderas to San Juan del Sur for supplies. I know that after we arrive back in Playa Maderas I won’t have the energy to practice. It’s about a 45 minute drive each way and we have a few hours in town to buy groceries and anything else we fancy – making it a pretty long day (well compared to the relaxed lifestyle of Playa Maderas).

Day 16

Today was the start of becoming very distracted in my Meditation practice. I’m pretty good with my Yoga practice but today I only practiced the Guided Meditation.

I was way too distracted in my Mediation – peeking at how many minutes were left half way through. I think that I’ve been getting distracted because we’re getting to pointy end of our stay in Playa Maderas and need to decide where to go next and maybe mud-map the rest of our trip too.

Day 17

Today was a Yoga practice and only a Guided Meditation. Still feeling very off my Meditation on Day 17.

Day 18

Today was a Yoga only practice and has been the only day when I didn’t practice Meditation during Week 3.

I’m not happy with being really off my Mediation this week and disappointed with myself for missing today’s Meditation. But trying not too get too hung up about it, there’s always tomorrow.

Day 19

Today I practiced Yoga, a Guided Meditation and then a Savasana. I’m still not feeling great about my Meditation practice and my Mindfulness Meditation is still nonexistent. But a Guided Meditation is better than no Meditation at all.

Day 20

Today I practiced a mid day Yoga practice and Guided Meditation after breakfast. Not ideal to practice on a full stomach and a little habit I’ve started on my 66 day journey.

My Yoga practice was pretty slow and not focused and then I tried to do a Guided Meditation a little while afterwards but could not focus and didn’t complete the entire Guided Meditation track.

I’m really feeling like I’m entering more of a struggle with my Meditation.

Day 21

Day 21 and the end of 3 weeks of daily Yoga and Meditation. 

Today, I’ve incorporated some more strength moves into my usual Vinyasa sequence by Yoga practice by adding a sequence of:

  • Push ups
  • Adho Mukha Savasana (Downward Facing Dog)
  • Adho Mukha Virasana (Downward Facing Hero)

I’m working on increasing my upper body strength because it could be better and this will also help with my arm balances.

Three weeks into my forming a daily Yoga habit in 66 days journey and I’m continuing to practice daily Yoga without too much of a problem with motivation. My Meditation has been the issue, especially in Week 3. I’ve missed 4 our of 21 Meditation sessions over the last 3 weeks. It is definitely my weak spot and I really need to work through this.

So onto Week 4 to focus on improving my Mediation practice.

Namaste

 

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Week 2: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days

Week 2 of 10 of Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days

Week 2 of my 66 days of forming a daily Yoga habit and still practicing from the jungle paradise in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua.

I’m finding practicing Yoga daily to be not too much of a challenge, especially while remaining in the one location without too many distractions.

During Week 2 I’ve started to incorporate arm balances into my Yoga sequence. Working on my Bakasana (Crow Pose) and side Crow again after a few months of not practicing. During Week 2 my Bakasanas are very shaky and I’ve had a few crash landings – but that’s half the fun.

Although my daily Yoga is going well, it’s my Meditation practice that has been more difficult; I’ve missed 2 of the 7 Meditations for Week 2.

On the other 5 days when I’ve managed a daily Meditation I’ve had a few days variation from practicing both the Guided and Mindfulness Meditations and just practiced the Guided Meditation. These have mostly on the days when I’ve had a day out – like day tripping to San Juan del Sur on Day 8.

This has given me a little insight into how difficult keeping up a daily Yoga and Meditation practice can be while on the road. We’re off to Costa Rica in one week and I’m working on how I’ll be able to maintain my daily practice while in transit or exhausted from travelling.

By the end of Week 2 I’ve realised that a morning practice combing Yoga, Meditation and a Savasana is working for me best at the moment.

Week 2: Forming a Daily Yoga Habit in 66 Days Summary

Day 8

Today was the weekly trip back to San Juan del Sur for supplies. I decided to split my Yoga and Meditation at beginning and the end of the day. Practicing Yoga in the morning and then only doing only a Guided Meditation before bedtime.

Day 9

Very slow start today, I didn’t practice Yoga until in the mid-afternoon. I decided to leave the Meditation until the evening and I ended up practicing a Guided Meditation at bedtime.

Day 10

Today I practiced Yoga but no Meditation. After splitting the practices on Day 8 and Day 9 my intention was to practice Meditation in the evening, unfortunately it somehow never happened.

Day 11

On day 11 I practiced Yoga but no Meditation again today. My intention was to do a before bedtime mediation again but as I was drifting off to sleep I remembered that it never happened.

I’ve recognised that splitting my Yoga and Meditation practice isn’t working for me. I’ve missed two days of Meditation trying before bedtime Meditation. Tomorrow I will try to do both the Yoga and Mediation practice together in the morning.

Day 12

Today I did my Yoga, Meditation practice and then a Savasana all in one sitting in the morning.

I’m thinking that this daily routine in the morning could work better for me. Splitting my Yoga and Meditation practice wasn’t working. I’d end up think about needing to do my Meditation throughout the day – all the energy thinking about Meditating could have been better used just doing the Meditation!

And I do like incorporating the Savasana at the end of my practice, it feels like more of a complete practice this way.

Day 13

Today I did my daily Yoga and Meditation practice in the morning again. Although I practiced after breakfast and I felt a little heavy and lethargic.

So I slowed down the Vinyasa sequence I’ve been working through into a Vinyasa/Yin practice. I held each asana for a few more minutes than usual and worked into my muscles and ligaments and focused more on my body alignment.

I also added the mindfulness Mediation to the Guided Mediation and ended with a Savasana (final relaxation).

It has been very noisy at our bungalow with maintenance work happening throughout the days. It has definitely tested my concentration during Mediation.

However, even with all the noise, I found practicing both the Yoga and the Meditation in one sitting easier than splitting the two.

I feel that I’m getting closer to a daily Yoga and Meditation practice that could suit me – at least when I’m not in transit while travelling.

I’m still thinking about how my daily practice will go when travelling down to Costa Rica and beyond.

Day 14

Wow – two weeks already!

Today I continued to practice in the morning and combine Yoga, Meditation (Guided and Mindful) and then a Savasana as one practice. This routine seems to be working for me for now.

It still continues to be very noisy with maintenance men working away throughout the day and throughout my practice. I’m learning to tune the noise out – it’s not always easy.

I still find that my mind wanders during Meditation but I’m at peace with that – I just follow it wherever it goes and acknowledge the thought (sometime wondering why the hell am I thinking about that!?) and then back to my breath.

I continue to work through my Vinyasa sequence, not a slow as yesterday but just at a leisurely pace. I added Bakasana (Crow Pose) today and it’s still pretty shaky, but I figure that I’ll get there with more practice.

Onto Week 3!

Namaste

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Playa del Carmen – Palapa Suuk Yoga Studio Review

The Palapa Suuk Studio Review

The Palapa Suuk Yoga Studio is an open-air studio on Calle 40 between Avienda 5 and 10 in Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

There are ceiling fans but no air-conditioning. This is fine for either early morning or late evening classes.

The Palapa Suuk Yoga Studio reception is closed for the 7.30am weekday or 9am Saturday Kundalini Yoga classes; entry is via the black door to the right of the reception.

Yoga Props

There are some Yoga mats and blocks available at Palapa Suuk. I’d recommend bringing a Yoga mat or a towel to put over their Yoga mat.

Yoga Asana Style: Kundalini

I attended my first Kundalini Yoga class at Palapa Suuk Yoga Studio and it was a great experience.

A very simple definition of Kundalini Yoga is that it’s a blend of physical and spiritual – it incorporates movement, pranayama and chanting mantras.

Palapa Suuk has four Kundalini Yoga classes per week and I attended the Saturday morning Yoga class with Yoga Teacher Caroline.

Caroline discussed with me what Kundalini Yoga is prior to the class starting and helped to guide me through the Yoga class. I’d recommend getting there early to get a position in the front row – it’s easier to see exactly what the Yoga Teacher is doing and they can assist students in the front row with ease if required.

Caroline queued the Kundalini Yoga class in both English and Spanish but it was mostly in Spanish – it was pretty easy to follow along.

Caroline was very warm and welcoming and just had a gorgeous energy about her – she clearly was passionate about Kundalini Yoga and that made the class really enjoyable.

There is lots of pranayama (breathing exercises) and chanting mantras in this Kundalini Yoga class. Caroline had the mantras written on white boards at the front of the studio and hands out little cards with the mantra written down – so no need to worry about not knowing the mantra.

The majority of the Yoga class was seated so it’s not a physically demanding Yoga class. The eyes are closed throughout a lot of the class – with one eye half-open to follow along with the mantra from the board or paper.

It’s very different from any other Yoga classes I’ve attended; these are usually either Hatha or Vinyasa style Yoga classes.  At first it’s a little confronting but accepting and being open to the Kundalini Yoga experience is crucial for getting the most out of the Yoga class.

It was also great to attend a Yoga class that focused on mantras and Pranayama – whereas in many other Yoga classes the main focus in on the Asanas (poses) with little for no time for mantra or Pranayama.

After the Yoga class Caroline made a special effort to explain, in English, exactly what the mantras meant and why we chanted them and how the Pranayama’s should affect the body and mind.

 

 

Recommendation

I really enjoyed my first Kundalini Yoga class.

I’d recommend it other Yoga students who would enjoy bringing their awareness and focus inward and are open to their spiritual side and not be shy about chanting mantras – just read along at first and you soon be chanting along with your eyes closed!

I felt great afterwards and think I felt the Kundalini rising! Cannot wait for my second Kundalini Yoga class.

 

Playa del Carmen – Yoga District Studio Review

Yoga District is located in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It’s in the central location of Calle 26, between Avienda 10 and 15. It’s on the 3rd floor, above the Bio Organicos health food shop.

Website: www.yogadistrict.mx

Address: Calle 26 Nte, #128/5 Av y 10 Av, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

The Yoga District Studio

Yoga District is an airy and bright Yoga studio in central Playa del Carmen, Mexico.

There is plenty of room for shoes outside and pigeonholes for your personal belongings inside.

There isn’t air-conditioning at the Yoga studio but there are ceiling fans. The room temperature was comfortable but you’ll start to sweat once you get into the flow of the Vinyasa Yoga class.

There is one wall of floor–to–ceiling mirrors. I’m not the greatest fan of mirrors while practicing Yoga but can understand that some Yoga students want to be bale to check their alignment. As the mirrors are only on one wall you can choose to use the mirror or not.

Yoga Props

I’d recommend bringing our own Yoga mat and use one of Yoga District’s mats under yours for extra cushioning. There are also blocks and straps for use if required.

Yoga District also has complimentary “sweat towels” – you’ll need one.

Yoga Asana Style: Vinyasa

Vinyasa is a flow style of Yoga Asana. A great benefit of Vinyasa Yoga classes is getting a good detox through sweating it all out! I say embrace the sweat!

I attended a 10am Thursday class with the Yoga Teacher Sara. I was the only native English speaker in the class of four students. Sara was great at queuing in both English and Spanish.

There was a lot of Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I), Virabhadrasana (Warror II) and Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff Pose), plus variations in the sequence.

The class was great for building upper body strength with all those Chaturanga Dandasana’s (Four Limbed Staff Pose) – really great for the ladies who typically aren’t strong in the arms. And all the standing poses and lunges are great for stability and strength in the legs.

There was also a few more challenging arm balances.

Sara built the class to a nice peak and then ended with the classic sequence of:

  • Savangasana (shoulder stand) 
  • Halasana (Plough Pose)
  • Matsyasana (Fish Pose)  

I’d also recommend that you have experience with the final Asanas: Sarvangasana (shoulder stand), Halasana (Plough), Matsyasana (Fish Pose) to open the abdomen, chest and throat and is the counter pose to Sarvangasana (Should Stand) and Halasana (Plough Pose).

The class ended with a well deserved 5 minute Savasana.

Recommendation

Yoga District has a nice, relaxed energy and the Yoga Teacher Sara was very approachable and warm. I’d recommend attending a class if you’re in Playa del Carmen.

I’d also recommend that this class be for intermediate Yoga Asana students. Like any Vinyasa Yoga class, as you flow through the Asanas (poses), there isn’t much time for correcting your alignment. This is fine if you know how to “do” the Asana (pose) but concerning if you’re new to Yoga. I’d recommend a Hatha Asana style Yoga class for beginner Yoga students.

After the Yoga class I took my shaky (overly–Warrior-ed) legs downstairs and treated myself to a coconut water from the health food shop.

I felt very invigorated after the Yoga class. It certainly lifted my mood for the rest of the day.

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Your Guide to: Yoga Asana — Savasana

 

Savasana or Corpse Pose is usually the final pose at the end of a Yoga class – the final relaxation and the accumulation of all the poses in a Yoga class.

Savasana is often considered to be the most difficult of all Yoga Asana (poses) and the most important. At the end of a Yoga Class the Yoga Teacher will invite you to get comfortable and warm to enter into Savasana.

In my Yoga While Travelling – Nike Training App review I mentioned that I like to add a 10–15 minute Savasana to the end of a 15 minute Yoga class that I do from the Nike Training App to make it more of a traditional Yoga class rather than just a workout.

This is how I teach Savasana and invite you to practice this Yoga Asana. 

Before entering into Savasana I like to invite my students to do a breath and relaxation exercise to help move into Savasana: 

  • lie on your Yoga Mat, facing upward — get comfortable and warm — maybe put a blanket over yourself and a blanket under your head
  • arms and legs are away from your body, your body is in a straight line
  • deeply inhale through your nose – hold this breath. Keep holding this breath and then quickly begin creating tension in your body…
  • starting at the feet – crunch your toes, tense your calves, thighs, clench your buttocks, muscles of the stomach, clench your hands into fists, create tension in your back, shoulders, neck. Finally screw-up your face…all while HOLDING THE BREATH
  • then RELEASE THE BREATH – RELEASE all the tension that you’ve created in your body and go back to your normal breathing…feel the tension release from your body.

Then repeat this exercise two more times.

On the third and final repetition hold the breath for as long as it feels comfortable for you to do so. HOLD, HOLD, HOLD THE BREATH — then RELEASE all the tension. Feel your body and your mind RELAX, feel the tension release. Go back to your normal breath…just be for a few moments.

Now stay where you are on your Yoga mat. Let’s move into Savasana for 10–15 minutes.

Moving into Savasana

You may want to use some props if you if experience any back pain or are pregnant – see Yoga Props and Contraindications below. You may also want to put on relaxing music.

  • again, lie on your Yoga mat, arms, legs away from your body – just relaxing
  • your eyes are closed
  • make sure your neck is relaxed and long, your shoulders haven’t creeped up toward your ears
  • your body is in a straight line
  • you’re just breathing naturally, not constricting the breath

Savasana is where we turn inward toward a meditative state of being, you’re entering the fifth limb of Yoga – Pratyahara.

  • don’t be hard on yourself if you find your mind wandering to different thoughts
  • your mind will wander, that’s its nature, bring attention back to your breathing, gently let go of the thoughts
  • you have no where else to be, nothing else to do at this moment in time – this time is yours just to be
  • feel your body and mind just be
  • continue to breathe, always bringing your focus back to your breath

After 10–15 minutes of Savasana begin to come back to consciousness.

  • start to bring movement back to your body — gently moving the fingers, toes, hands and feet —gently bringing your mind back
  • move your arms above your head and give ourselves a big stretch – like we’re just woken from the most relaxing, rejuvenating sleep
  • leaving the left arm on the floor above our head, we bring the right knee upward with the right foot on the floor – then gently roll over to our left side. Gently resting the left side of the face on the left arm. Staying lying on the left side for as long as needed. Then very slowly making your way into a seated position.

I invite students to create a mental imprint of how they feel after Savasana. Knowing that they can reach a point where both their body and mind are completely relaxed, they can bring themselves back to these feelings whenever needed.

Benefits of Savasana

  • helps to consciously relax both the body and mind
  • helps to balance and calm the nervous system
  • will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated

Yoga Props

  • Yoga mat or towel/s if you’re traveling and don’t have a mat
  • if you’re just doing Savasana and not other Yoga Asana (poses), you could just lie on a bed
  • bolster
  • blanket/s
  • cushions
  • pillows (if you don’t have a bolster)
  • eye cushion

Contraindications

  • Lower back: you may want to put either a bolster or pillow under you knees to relieve any discomfort in your lower back.
  • Pregnancy variation: either raise your head and chest on a bolster or pillows or lie on your side with the bolster or pillows between your legs and your head resting on a cushion or pillow. Please note that most Yoga Asanas (poses) have variations for pregnancy and I would strongly recommend that if pregnant you attend a Pregnancy Yoga class with a specialised Pre-Natal Yoga teacher. 

Finally, you can practice Savasana whenever you like, it doesn’t have to be after a Yoga class. Sometimes I just unroll my mat and “take a” Savasana for as long as feels good to me.

Namaste