Savasana for 20 minutes. Every day. For 1 month.
If I suggested that you put your lengthy to-do list to one side and lie down for twenty minutes right now, what would your response be?
This September marks 5 years since I embarked on my #365Savasana Project (which I wrote about at the time for OM Yoga Magazine)
when every day for 1 year I practised Savasana for 20 minutes – a slightly crazy idea which turned out to be transformative!
So this September I am going to be practising Savasana every day for 20 minutes. I’d love you to join me!
• Get comfortable using as many cushion and blankets as you need;
• Set a timer;
• Ideally cover your eyes with a soft scarf or eye pillow (as light can be an irritant);
• If your mind wanders (which is completely normal) guide your awareness to the steady rise and fall of your breath.
• Try not to judge how you are doing. Practise allowing yourself to Be.
(I think I can hear you shouting that you are too busy from here! But if you’re feeling frazzled or generally rushed off your feet it may be just what you need.)
Savasana (or Corpse Pose), lying down in a comfortable position (usually) on your back, is often described as the easiest pose to do but the most difficult to master. Lying still for twenty minutes a day may seem unimaginable. But you can start small with just a minute or two and work your way up.
A restorative Savsasna allows your body to properly rest – something we rarely experience in our day-to-day over-stimulated existence. More than a little nap, Savasana helps to shift the nervous system into the parasympathetic state (calming the ‘fight flight’ response and switching on the relaxation response)
Just some of the benefits of Savasana include:
• Promoting proper physical rest and regeneration by stimulating the ‘relaxation response’
• Improved sleep quality
• Calming a busy mind
• Lowering blood pressure
Over the course of September I’ll be sharing some tips and different Savasana variations on my Instagram account (@ucanyoga1). If you do choose to join me I would love to hear how you are finding the experience by using the #SavasanaSeptember hashtag.
Restorative Yoga for Depression Workshop – Saturday 3rd February 2018 2.15-4.15pm at Embody Wellness
After a number of requests I am repeating this workshop. If you missed it last time or think this may be of benefit to someone you know, here are the details. No previous yoga experience is necessary:
Depression can impact our entire being. What we think about, how we feel, how we behave, all altered as depression creates a state of dysregulation in the nervous system. On a physiological level, the whole body, including the respiratory, digestive, cardiovascular and hormonal systems are affected.
In this 2-hour workshop we will practise restorative yoga poses with an emphasis on helping to balance depression.
Although some forms of depression include feelings of anxiety or agitation, more often is the experience of symptoms such as fatigue and lethargy. Because depression can be exhausting, restorative practices have the capacity to play a potent role in cultivating emotional balance and wellness. The props suporting the body in restorative yoga poses allow both body and mind to feel safely held and grounded, and to feel properly rested.
It is not that one pose or workshop will ‘cure’ depression, but the practice can provide us with an active role in moving towards healing. In this workshop we will experience restorative poses that can be used together or separately, along with focussed breathing as part of your own toolkit when you need them. (I will share tips on recreating poses for yourself at home).
About the the teacher: An experienced Restorative Yoga teacher, Paula Hines is an Advanced Relax Renew Trainer, having studied with Judith Hanson Lasater and has found Restorative Yoga to be an effective tool for addressing her own depression and anxiety.
Numbers are limited to a maximum of 8 people. You can book your place via the Embody Wellness website here or call Embody on 020 7099 0048.
“Because yoga can help you feel so good, sometimes there is a tendency to present it all as positivity, love and light, heart-opening and unicorns. But in truth, it’s not all fluffy. When you practise yoga (not just asana) for a while, you find that it can make you more aware of the not so good too and teach you a lot about yourself (if you’re ready and willing to listen). So, I don’t expect myself or others to be perfect – after all, we are all in this together! It is all an on-going, life-long practice.”
I was recently interviewed by Yogamatters – just a few of the topics we touched on include:
- the importance of self-care
- why representation and visibility of diversity in yoga matters
- how my own experience of stress and injury has influenced my yoga practice and teaching
And much more. You can read the interview in full over at the Yogamatters blog by clicking here.
Thanks so much to Yogamatters for the interview feature 🙏🏾 🙏🏾 🙏🏾
Widespread research has shown that relaxation practices such as restorative yoga have numerous benefits including the ability to lower levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Related to this, restorative yoga also facilitates mindful awareness of the body which plays a part in our resilience to stress.
In this 2-hour workshop we will practice restorative yoga poses with an emphasis on helping to relieve anxiety. If you have anxiety, restorative yoga can be particularly challenging because the mind has less to focus on than with a more active practice and, consequently, any concerns you have been suppressing may start to arise once the body begins to relax. However, this does not mean you should avoid practicing restorative poses. It is precisely during times of feeling highly stressed or anxious that these practices can be of the greatest benefit. We will use props to support the body in ways that have been shown to allow both mind and body to feel safe and grounded.
It is not that one pose or one workshop will ‘cure’ anxiety, but in this workshop we will experience restorative poses that can be used together or separately, along with focused breathing, as part of your own toolkit when you need them. (I will share tips on recreating poses for yourself at home.)
As an experienced Restorative Yoga teacher and an Advanced Relax Renew Trainer, having studied with Judith Hanson Lasater, I have found Restorative Yoga to be an effective tool for addressing my own anxiety.
Advance booking is required. Secure your place by booking via the Embody Wellness website here or call the studio directly on 020 7099 0048.