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'Stressful Meditation'

Have you ever fallen asleep in savasana, corps pose? I have. Most of us have. Although you are not meant to, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. After all Dalai Lama said ‘Sleep is the best form of meditation’. If you can relax enough to sleep among strangers on a hard floor, it can’t be that bad.

Many years ago I took my then teenage daughter to a Yoga nidra class. She slept almost throughout the class. She was going through a hard time and I knew she wasn’t sleeping well at night, so I was glad she found a space where she could switch off for half an hour.

I was talking to one of my students the other day. She said she used to find meditation at the end of the class very ‘stressful’. That was about 15 years ago when she started yoga , and she was going through a stressful time in life. She was constantly stressed in her normal life and sitting still silently for 5 minutes was also stressful.

I was surprised to hear this. Especially as she used these two words together. Surely meditation is the opposite of stress, isn’t it?

But it is true that some students find meditation and even corps posture difficult. Usually you can tell by the way people sit. Sometimes you see people almost fiddling and tapping their fingers. I once had a feedback from a student saying ‘I wish you didn’t do relaxation at the end.’

Of course, for most of the students, relaxation is the main reason for taking up yoga. One of my friends calls it ‘the best bit’.

As for me, it is the biggest reason to doing Ashtanga Yoga. When I describe Ashtanga yoga to people, I say ‘It is physically demanding but you get totally relaxed and tranquil at the end.’ And this is true. During the relaxation after Ashtanga series, I feel most peaceful. More peaceful than after any other types of yoga and even after 30 minutes of meditation. Sometimes I feel ‘I have to do all the bending and jumping to get 10 minutes of peace.’ Fortunately it always works.

As for the students above, I’m glad to say that she kept up. After 15 years of yoga I’m sure she finds peace in her practice, even in savasana.

Sharing welcome

relaxation yoga with Atsuko North Devon

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