In DC I was blessed with a wonderful yoga teacher. She was energetic and just full of so much positive emotion that I couldn’t help but feel uplifted after each one of her classes. She encouraged me and was always there with praise when I finally was able to do something new. In short, any teacher that followed would never measure up in my mind.
I recently moved to California and began the hunt for a new place to practice my yoga. California seemed like the promised land for yoga. So when I arrived, I began the googling and the yelping to see what studios were nearby me. I found two that offered classes when I needed them and were relatively close by. I went to the first studio and tried Ashtanga, which was new to me. The class was early in the morning and I enjoyed stretching myself out of my sleepiness. However, it was also a self-led class. Everyone was dong their own level of yoga and completely different things. The teacher came around and helped each student, but I missed the community feeling of the energy of the class coming together as we all worked to hold a particularly difficult pose or flowed through a vinyassa. Also the students came and went on their own schedule so there wasn’t a chance to get to know others in the class.
So it was on to the next studio. This one had the added bonus of being close enough for me to bike to (yeah for no carbon!). It was hot yoga, but more of a vinyassa flow studio. I had once had a particularly bad experience with bikeram yoga and so I came equipped with lots of water and told myself that I could stop at any time. The class was much more what I used to and I seemed to tolerate the heat just fine. However, there was no shivasna at the end of the class! I left the class feeling like my yoga practice for the day was somehow incomplete. Shivasna to me is the one time all day when I can feel completely justified in just laying there and doing absolutely nothing. It is a time to reflect on my practice that day and my yoga teacher says “seal in the benefits of the practice.” I come out of it feeling relaxed and ready to tackle the rest of my day.
I have since been back the second studio and decided to get a month pass to try it out more because it seemed to be more on my level yoga wise. The other teachers have given a short shivasna, but I always feel a bit cheated and like to come home and take a proper shivasna. What about you? Is shivasna an integral part of your practice or not?