Confession: I used to avoid savasana.
(I know, I know. The Restorative Yoga advocate is here saying I used to skip savasana. I can hardly believe it either!)
Savasana only felt necessary to me after I’d completed punishing asana practice or some super fierce pranayama practice when I could really feel that my body absolutely required rest.
I thought savasana was just so… boring.
Restorative Yoga as an entirely separate practice felt different to me than plain old savasana. A little lie down at the end of a few sun salutations? Nah. No reason for that.
Once when Jack was little, I was practicing yoga in the room next to his. I remember having so much to do but I had just squeezed in a short active practice. I was about to leave the mat without doing savasana. And then I heard toddler Jack’s favorite CD called Underground Playground by Secret Agent 23 Skiddo. The song that was playing was “Bored is a Bad Word.”
“Yes,” I thought, “exactly! Savasana is boring. There’s nothing to do. Don’t waste time with all of that when there are so many other important things to do!”
What I’ve since come to realize is that when I was feeling bored in savasana, it was actually a sign that I was using yoga as entertainment and/or distraction.
I know so many folks for whom this has been happening even more since the beginning of the pandemic. Maybe yoga has been your entertainment distraction.
Or maybe you’ve been distracting yourself with something else.
For example, I was just talking to a friend the other day who was telling me that she and her partner spent the entire spring in a drunken stupor because every night they were boredom drinking.
Another friend only recently realized just how much money he has spent online shopping since March.
Maybe for you it has been quarantine baking and subsequent over-eating.
Or perhaps it is staying up way too late Netflix binging. (Okay, okay, this one is actually about me.)
I even have a friend who has become a compulsive exerciser. That one’s especially tricky because running is a healthy habit, right? Right…?
My point here is not to demonize these specific behaviors but to offer you an invitation to consider:
Are you about to do whatever is you are going to do because you are bored and avoiding something?
When we come to our yoga mats for an active asana practice in order to be entertained, it just might be that we are really trying to escape some unpleasantness.
For me, I’m probably avoiding some emotion that I don’t want to feel like sadness, fear, worry, anger, jealousy…
But here’s the thing:
Once I’ve stopped all of the doing and I’m taking a rest in savasana, I will start to notice my boredom. Instead of rushing away from boredom into some activity, now I’m better at just being with that.
Because boredom is not a bad word. Boredom is an invitation to watch more closely and to feel more deeply.
Take a savasana today, my friends, and don’t be worried about being bored. Watch that boredom closely and let me know what you discover.
I’m teaching just one more Saturday class before the end of 2020. I have a few other weekly classes between now and then. Check out the live-streaming class schedule. And there’s always my on-demand class library.
If you are looking to end your 2020 with a quiet celebration, join me on December 31 for my annual New Year’s Eve Restorative Yoga party.
Here’s to 2021!