When I teach yoga I always do a short settling in period at the beginning of class. We usually lie down and focus on the breath. I try to really hit home the point of coming into the room.. focusing on leaving the rest of our day behind us. I often talk about the inhale bringing us into the present moment and the exhale being an opportunity to let go of anything we don’t need. At the end of class I always get the students to do a longish Savasanah. I often combine a bit of meditation in with these two parts of the class. I utterly and totally believe sitting quietly in meditation is perhaps the most important part of yoga…..but you know what?? I often skimp on this at home when I am doing my own practice.
I think it is funny that I drop these out of my own personal practice. I suppose I justify it somehow by thinking I don’t have much time for yoga so I should cram as much of the physical stuff in there as I can. I often do slow yin style which is sort of a meditation of its own.. but really formally settling in and out of a yoga practice makes such a difference. I have decided to make sure I include these things in my home practice from now on. My last yoga practice? It was BEAUTIFUL. Yup.Todays lesson for myself? Don’t skimp on the quiet parts.. it is what makes yoga different from your average work out in the gym.