Manifesto: a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization (or in this case, yoga teacher).
I believe in resting a lot in yoga class. Sometimes I lay down flat on my back like a pancake, sometimes in constructive rest, and other times I rest with my forehead on the floor in child’s pose. Sometimes I sit on a block and drink water while looking at the shapes other people make with their bodies. [So beautiful, the human body, all those different shapes and sizes, lines and angles…]
Why do I rest? Partly because I work so hard doing everything else in my life and I’m tired.
I rest partly because I’ve had excellent teachers that remind me to rest when I’m tired or to not push past my edge. [ BIG THANKS to the teachers at It’s All Yoga in Sacramento for teaching me this lesson!]
I rest partly because it feels good once you get past the weird ego thing of ‘I’m in yoga class and I must do everything better than everyone else.‘ Some of you know exactly what I’m talking about.
At this point, I consider my resting in yoga class a public service.
I rest so that all those people that might want to rest can look at me and think “Oh thank god, someone else is resting, I can rest too.”
I know this happens because it used to happen to me. A lot. I’d want to come out of a pose, but I didn’t want everyone to know I needed to rest so I just powered through it.
One day something clicked in my head and I decided it was my mission to make people feel ok about resting. By being the first to rest, I am modeling the behavior I would like to see in others. Now when I see people listening to their inner voices telling them to rest and they actually do, I feel I’ve done my work here.
We keep joking in my teacher training class that I should open a studio someday that only offers 90 minutes classes of Savasana. I know I’d want to come to the class where rest is not only ok, but encouraged, so maybe other people would too.
If you are one of those people that doesn’t think they need to rest (I know about your kind….) I think you should rest too.
You’ll thank me later.