I completed my final beginner's session of Yoga last night and I will be continuing. Over the 4 weeks (I did miss one) I have felt an increase in strength, sense of calm, and general wellbeing. This is also attributable to other factors but Yoga has had a significant impact.
I have enjoyed learning basic asana's (poses) including Mountain, Tree, Warrior, Bridge and Goddess. However, one asana stands out amongst all others, savasana.
Savasana is also known as corpse pose, is laying on your back, legs spread with feet rolled out to the side. Arms are spread out with palms facing up. During this aptly named corpse pose you are also practising pranayama (controlled breathing). We practised this at the beginning and end of each session.
Savasana might seem that it is just laying down and understandably that is often comfortable in its self. Savasana as I perceived felt as if it was a pause. It was a point in which you could let go of thoughts, tension, emotions, expectations and let the body relax. This is aided by a dark room, focusing on the breath and allowing your brain to be mindful of the present. It trains a key skill of letting your sensory input come to your conscious awareness and not just busily working in the background whilst we are consumed with the everyday stresses that require our attention. Part relaxation and meditation, this asana is what I enjoyed the most. It reminded me of my footy playing days and relaxing on the couch after a hot shower and feeling my tension, pain or relaxation.
I am going to continue Yoga as my experience so far supports the proposed benefits. I also encourage anyone who is interested to give it a try as I think you will be impressed by its satisfying balance of physical exertion and relaxation. A practice that both helps the body and mind.