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What Yoga Teaches us About Rest

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What Yoga Teaches us About Rest

It’s a Saturday night, and I’m participating in a Restorative Yoga class, a class I teach more than I attend these days.   Maureen and I rented out the studio to teach a private class to our friends.  Maureen is finishing up our class, and I am lying in savasana.  And though I know that I'm supposed to be mindful in this pose, a thought pops into my head.  One great thing about yoga is that it actually encourages rest.  Every time we end a class by lying in savasana, we are expressing an important value -- working hard is good, but at the end of our work, we rest.  


 Life in the U.S. teaches us to go, go, go.  We work all week long.  We do things around the house.  We run our kids to multitudes of practices and activities.  Sometimes we get up crazy early to start tackling our massive To Do list.  Maybe we are able to carve out a small amount of time for personal pursuits and self care, but American culture values busyness -- maybe to a fault.  Those of us who practice yoga know something that most people don’t:  II’s okay, maybe even essential, to stop and rest.  Rest feels good, and rest is healing.  


Think about it.  In each class here at Surya Yoga, be it Stretch and Chill or Hot Vinyasa, we spend 50 minutes or so moving our bodies into poses and following our teacher’s lead.  We breathe.  We try new things.  We focus on the present.  And then we stop.  We move into our favorite savasana position.  We let our ankles splay open and relax our arms.  We may use a bolster or two to support our legs, or we may choose to cover ourselves with a blanket.  We close down our eyes and get comfortable.  Then we breathe and rest and recover.  Savasana -- maybe the best part of yoga.  Maybe the best part of life  


How would our lives be better if we valued rest outside of just our yoga practice?  What if, when feeling tired and stressed, we learned to just stop?  I think that what savasana teaches us is this:  When we take a few minutes to rest, we actually feel more restored and are better equipped to tackle the world.  As we move through this new year, I encourage you to think about rest and the role it plays in your life.  I encourage you to pause, just as we do in yoga class, when you are tired and overwhelmed.  Namaste.


Real rest feels like every cell is thanking you for taking care of you. It’s calm, not full of checklists and chores. It’s simple: not multitasking; not fixing broken things.”

Jennifer Williamson

Crysta Baier is a Surya Yoga student and instructor, an elementary librarian and computer teacher, a wife, a mother, and a blogger. If you'd like to read more of her blog posts, go to 



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