The power of awareness.

13 Oct

Yesterday in my restorative yoga class at Asheville Community Yoga, something incredible happened. In restorative yoga, there are a number of supported poses that we do in order to reach a state of deep relaxation. Even though I’ve been going to the class since last year, I’m just starting to get back into going regularly again. In terms of my restorative class though, I often find that once I’m able to make myself go to class I remember why I started going in the first place. As well as being able to deeply relax after a busy week, yoga is another activity that I do completely for myself. It has no other purpose other than helping me to relax and making me happy.

Restorative yoga is made up of a number of supported poses. The final pose is called shavasana, or corpse pose. During shavasana, my yoga teacher leads us through a guided meditation in order to reach yoga nidra. Yoga nidra is a “sleep-like” state in which you reach a state of deep relaxation. During the yoga nidra yesterday, as my yoga teacher was guiding us through a meditation, he reminded us to become aware of what was happening around us. He urged us to become aware of ourselves, our bodies, our breath, and our thoughts. During the awareness exercise, a dog started barking outside. After a while, my yoga teacher instructed us to become aware to the dog barking outside. A few minutes later, the dog stopped barking, and my yoga teacher told us to become aware to the fact that the dog stopped barking as soon as we focused our awareness towards it.

Even though the fact that the dog stopped barking as soon as we were made aware of it doesn’t seem like such a big deal now, it was an incredible experience in the moment. It helped me better understand the power of awareness and why it’s such a key tool in yoga. As I was talking with my yoga teacher after class, we both were still amazed at the experience with the dog. I think it’s one of the coolest moments I’ve experienced since beginning restorative yoga. The awesome thing is that now my yoga teacher and I (and everyone else in the class yesterday) are able to share that moment, and no one is able to take that experience from us. It’s made us more connected, even if we may never see each other again. We have that shared experience, and I bet that for many of us, that moment will stay with us for quite a while.

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5 Responses to “The power of awareness.”

  1. treadmarkz October 13, 2012 at 6:22 pm #

    I am definitely going to link to this post specifically as it addresses and illustrates a point I’d like to make about Yoga. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Laura October 15, 2012 at 10:46 pm #

    I love stuff like this, not only with yoga but with anything, I can seem to almost communicate with my cat (yeah yeah i’m sounding like a crazy cat lady I know) but he goes through periods of being frantic and freaking out if I’m in my study with the door shut. I’ll focus some energy his way to sort of sooth him and tell him I’ll be out in a minute to play with him and he will calm down and stop crying – no lie!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. ‘Tis the Season To Be Gloomy | Rolling With Vishnu - October 13, 2012

    […] I wrote this piece, I read another blog about restorative yoga, which I felt illustrated the point. In practicing restorative yoga, one is instructed by a guide […]

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