Tag Archives: Posttraumatic stress disorder

Simplify Your Practice

Savasana, the ending resting pose in most yoga classes, can conjure up all sorts of feelings. I would go as far to say that you either love it or hate it. How can one pose create such an emotional reaction? I would guess that those who hate it are challenged by the stillness and struggle with not “doing.” Maybe it’s just really hard to get comfortable on the floor, on your back. Perhaps the silence brings an awareness to your racing mind, and that is uncomfortable. I can also safely assume that those who love it, have developed that relationship over time. Those people understand that becoming aware of your racing mind, sensations in the body, and feelings that arise are just part of the package. It comes with the territory and it’s how we choose to meet all that arises is the difference.

Savasana is the most simple pose in any yoga practice but also the most complicated. All you are asked to do is lie on the floor and “be.” Be with your thoughts non-judgementally; be with sensations in the body without creating a story around them; be with any and all feelings that you notice; just be. You have no demands on you during this time. No errands to run, nobody asking you for anything, and no tasks.

If you embrace Savasana as a gift of the practice, I challenge you to stay longer, add more props for comfort and ease, and rest in it more frequently. Extend your time by just a few minutes each time you set yourself up; the longer the better. Commit to a regular practice of Savasana by keeping your props accessible, dedicating time in your daily schedule, and set a timer so that you have the boundary to go deeper.

If you are interested in a better relationship with Savasana, I challenge you to first, get really comfortable in your set up in the most quiet, peaceful place you can find. Set a timer for 5 minutes in the beginning and extend by a minute each time you commit to the practice. Cover yourself with a blanket and cover your eyes with an eye pillow or wash cloth if you are comfortable doing so. Meet all that you notice with compassion. You can choose to spend more time with it or you can choose to focus on the present which may include becoming aware of your breath. Consider it a refuge from life, a place to hit the “pause button.” Dedicate to a regular practice to gain the benefits of stillness and deep rest. I guarantee it will work wonders if you let it!

The fancy and beautiful poses are great. They make us feel powerful, balanced, and strong. Don’t get rid of your movement practice, it’s important too. I just ask you to simplify your practice, commit to doing less, and just be.

Join me Sunday, January 21, 2018 for a 2-hour workshop, “Advanced Savasana,” where we will explore 3 comfortable shapes as well as setting up a home practice, and enjoy a generous Savasana.

Katie Rodgers is a 200-hour registered Yoga Instructor who has trained extensively with Restorative Queen, Judith Hanson Lasater and combines Restorative Yoga with mental health talk therapy for overall mind-body well-being. Register at Noda Yoga.

Katie’s Bookshelf – Room by Emma Donogue

room1I just finished reading “Room” by Emma Donogue. As a warning, this book is not easy to read because of the subject matter. It is narrated by 5 year old, Jack, who has been held in captivity his entire life. Jack lives with “Ma” who was kidnapped when she was 19 years old.

Jack describes the activities he engages in with his mom to fill the day. Being locked in a small room (really a garden shed), forces the inhabitants to be creative. Ma decides to keep it a secret from Jack that they are locked in room. Jack does not know there is an entire world outside the door. Ma explained the things Jack saw on TV in the real world very interesting.

Throughout the novel, I kept asking myself if I were in the same position as Ma, would I have kept it a secret from Jack? Victims who have escaped from captivity are fascinating. It must take incredible strength to endure the things they do and to continue living life without the things they are accustomed to. One example that comes to mind is Elizabeth Smart. She seems to have recovered from her time in captivity. Not without a support system and extensive therapy I’m sure.

Individuals held in captivity could have multitudes of issues once they are released. Some that come to mind are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Anxiety, Depression, trust issues, and social phobia.

This book was difficult to put down and very eye opening.

Read this book if:

  • Interested in the experience of someone held in captivity.
  • Fictitious books based on real-life situations are your thing.

Buy it here.

Donoghue, E. (2010). Room: A novel. New York: Little, Brown and Company.