Saturday, May 19, 2012

Stay Like This for Five Breaths...or Longer

On my back in decoy savasana, I wondered if I'd make it out of hot yoga alive. I felt punch-drunk but, as Val said, there are hundreds of reasons why you feel one way on Friday and another way on Saturday.

At one point, I saw Bridget motion to Val who then went to turn down the heat. After class, Val said that the thermostat was on 102 degrees but Val also brought the heat. I kept thinking that she had eaten her Wheaties or steel cut oatmeal topped with chia or flax seeds.

Chair or fierce pose just about ruined me. The hot yoga teachers like to say that the students' breathing lets them know how long to hold us in poses. Val must not have heard us very well but she did remind us to take a break when we needed one. I like it that she said But it's your responsibility to get back up when you're ready.

She also encouraged us to stay positive at the right times. During plank, Val said that you don't want to be a hammock or tepee but you want to be like a board -- unbreakable.

After class, this newbie asked me how long I had been coming to Hot Yoga and she also wanted to know why I had returned after the first time. I told her that I like a challenge. I like to sweat and I definitely like yoga. She said that she's a runner but every time that she tried to get up from a resting pose, she felt as if she was going to fall down.

I forgot to tell her that I feel amazing afterwards and that my contact dermatitis is dormant. I told her that it's the opposite of that Sade song: subsequent visits are better than the first time...


  1. Decoy savasana? There's one asana I have never heard of ....

  2. That so made me laugh.

    Okay, technically, there's no decoy savasana but it certainly feels like it. In my mind, savasana is the final relaxation pose which it is not when we first encounter it in hot yoga.

    Maybe I should call it misleading savasana. Fake savasana?

    I guess that savasana is savasana but it doesn't feel that way when we have more hot yoga work to do. Know what I'm saying?

  3. I do know what you are saying...but I typically think of savasana of an integration pose, instead of a relaxation pose. So, we would use it in the beginning of class to help students come into that state of mind of being focused and relaxed, not just at the end of class when you want to melt into the mat (it is SOOOO good then isn't it?). So next time you are in decoy savasana, remember that you are not just resting, but coming into this yogic state-breathing deeply, focused, relaxed. It's a chance to transition from the chaos of your life into the sacred quiet of your practice.

    Although I usually start off using another integration pose like child's pose, easy seated pose or even downward dog, I like savasana at the beginning of class. It really brings the energy down and can be great for taming a really energetic class.

  4. "Decoy savasana" is officially in my vocab now. I still think it most clever.

  5. Thanks :) and thanks for shedding light on that situation. I think that “decoy” savasana was more surprising during my first hot yoga class but I know what to expect now. My literal-mindedness makes my mind write all kinds of stories but I will definitely approach/look at savasana differently from now on.