Yoga Tip: Standing Savasana – What’s the best stance to use between postures?

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Before class the other day I asked if anyone had a yoga question & Susan Van Note posed this one.  What’s the best stance to use between postures? During the standing series I have discovered through much trial & error that by gazing motionlessly straight ahead with my palms facing outward & directing ALL my attention to the breath that the yoga experience of ease and grace flows effortlessly … even in the most challenging classes.  I cannot stress enough how incredibly self-empowering it is … to simply focus the entirety of my body and mind on the breath between postures. Lynne Minochelli sent an email relaying how paying attention to her body posture between standing postures has helped her concentration & she finds that the repetitiveness of palms facing outward creates a readiness to receive the energy of Savasana (even while standing). My goal as a yoga teacher is to create the setting for studio members to discover these sorts of insights for themselves. It is my job to cajole individuals to get out of the boxes of habitual self-limitation & learn new ways to love themselves. So I must admit that it feels rewarding when studio members get these insights and affirm the benefits for themselves.

By paying attention to the space between “active” postures, Lynne shares that she has learned that how she moves out of the posture is as important as how moves into the posture. To quote Lynne, “When I do not concentrate on the trailing elements of the posture, I become sloppy and do not partake of the Savasana which follows in the same manner as when I complete the entire pose i.e. beginning, middle, and end.”  When one brings the intention of complete mindfulness to Bikram Yoga, it becomes like a dance … gliding … holding postures … expanding … energy flowing in unprecedented ways for 90 minutes … breakthroughs & miracles every day … every moment.

Components to Standing Savasana

1. Stand with feet & legs together … pressing inner thighs, buttocks, inside of feet together … engage root lock … wake up soles of the feet by pressing them firmly into the carpet.

2. Palms facing outward & draw shoulder blades down so that shoulders and chest are ever-opening & receptive… same arm position as Savasana … gazing straight ahead with no facial statement at an infinite point in front of you …

3. Inhale through nostrils … belly & chest expand … exhale through nostrils … press soles of the feet down, squeeze legs together, & engage root lock and muscles in lower back to lengthen the spine … long fluid oceanic currents of breath … calming heart & mind … aligning spirit.

So if you want to impress your yoga teacher … please take these words to heart … awareness of body posture between standing postures will improve your yoga practice and contribute to aligning the group energy wave which moves around the room. I realize that sometimes individuals need to reach for water or towel off sweat. But most often such actions are a distraction. Breath is primary in importance. Water is secondary. Toweling off sweat is tertiary. Quite frankly, who cares about sweat? Once you learn how to discover this majestic place within yourself via standing Savasana, the discipline will emerge effortlessly.