This is when the consistency of a personal yoga practice pays off, those times where I need to feel grounded, supported, loved and stable. When life throws a curve ball, I go to my mat, as I do almost every day, and feel that familiar feeling of peacefulness, self-love and connection.
During the rough patches, it takes a bit more time to calm my mind, to unwind the tangled thoughts that scream for attention, to soothe a heart that feels a bit bruised, but with patience my practice reveals itself and I sink into more peace, into a place with a much larger perspective.
I said goodbye to my sweet cat Smokey last week. Anyone who’s lost a pet knows the special brand of heartache reserved for us. He’d been by my side for a good part of my adult life, a beautiful friend and companion and my heart is feeling all the feelings. This is what’s in my rough patch right now.
He was my companion during my morning practice for years and I wondered: Will it feel the same without him? The first day I was relieved to find I could still feel him with me, his calm loving presence accompanying me.
Among many things, he taught me to get really good at Savasana, to chill out, to rest more. And although I may not be able to run my hands through his fur, I know I’ll continue to feel him alongside me.
To honour him I’ve embarked on a daily Savasana practice for 30 days…maybe longer, maybe forever. I wonder what I’ll discover.
Maybe you’d like to join me?
Savasana is said to be the most important pose in yoga. It allows our nervous system to calm down, our body to release tension and rest, and our minds to settle into a place of peace. Here’s how to build the best Savasana:
- Set a timer for 15 minutes (or longer!)
- Roll out your mat and lay down on your back.
- Stretch out your legs and allow them to relax, press into your arms and tuck the shoulder blades underneath your body, with your arms at your sides allowing the palms to rest facing upwards on the ground beside you.
- Take three deep breaths, allowing the body to relax a little more with each breath and soften with every exhale.
- Ask yourself: how can this pose be even more comfortable? Give that to yourself.
- Feel the support of the earth beneath you, feel all the places your body is in contact with the earth, and allow her to hold you.
- Rest in silence, and when your mind wanders, come back to the breath…inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale…
- When your timer sounds, slowly and mindfully roll to one side, take three deep breaths and make your way to sitting.
- Take a moment to notice how you feel before moving on with your day.
I know, without a doubt, this week would be far worse without my daily practice grounding me and bringing me back to my heart.
Sending so much love from this side of the rough patch. xo
Rachel McGarry is a certified Yoga Teacher and Devotional Chant Artist located in London, Ontario. Find her at www.sanctuary.is, follow her on IG, FB and Spotify!
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