Yes, that's right. I said it. I walked out of class during Savasana.
I was not all that new to yoga, but I was new to Savasana. I had taken yoga classes at the gym at my university, but we had always ended class with some seated forward fold stretching and maybe a seated twist and called it a day. So imagine my surprise when I took a yoga class at the YMCA for the first time and at the end of class they asked us to just lay down and be still and quiet.
I was so not into it, so I got up and left. In the middle of Savasana! (My older yogi self admonishes my younger self. How rude!) But at this point you might be thinking, "why would anyone even do that?!" So to answer the question, here are some of the reasons why I peaced-out of class that day and walked out of Savasana.
It wasn't part of a "workout".
I considered myself an athlete, or at least athletic, so lying on the floor didn’t feel like working out. I was of the mindset that this was a useless portion of the class, and so, I did not need to stay for it. In fact, looking at the clock, I couldn’t believe the class was “ending” 10 minutes early just to lie on the floor.
I cared what others thought if they saw the class.
If my boyfriend saw me lying there as we met up at the end of our workout, I would be made fun of. In fact, this seems to still be a pervasive idea among non-yogis of what yoga is—lying on the floor, stretching in the dark.
I found it physically uncomfortable.
My low back was insanely uncomfortable and arching up off of the floor. I didn’t know how to alleviate the discomfort and pain.
It triggered my overactive mind.
I’m a thinker and just lying there put my mind into a tailspin. I was a high school science teacher at the time, so I was surely replaying the day, thinking of my students, thinking about dinner, considering what to teach the next day, etc.
I didn't know what Savasana was for.
No one explained what that final pose was for, its significance, and its power. I am fairly certain that if the instructor gave even a short, quick reason why we were “just lying on the floor” I might have been enticed to stay.
Now Hear Me Out...
Let me just say, that as a yoga student, I soon came to realize the error of my ways, and soon understood the importance of Savasana, that final pose in a yoga class. Now, my biggest pet peeve is when a student packs up and leaves during Savasana and interrupts the class. Ironic, because it is exactly the thing I did so many years ago.
As a yoga instructor, I try to remember those feelings of being uncomfortable and weirded out during my first few Savasanas. And to this day, I still harness those feelings and experiences to teach my yoga students the prominence and joy of the pose.
What is your favorite and least favorite aspect of Savasana?
Image credit: Jituwang