Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Inner Peace

Inner Peace
by Lisa Hughey

About eight years ago I finally took my first yoga class, I loved it. Honestly I felt like I was born to do yoga.

(picture from http://thirtytherapy.wordpress.com/tag/yoga/)

I've always been flexible so all the stretching felt amazing. I have pretty good balance. The one thing I knew I needed to work on was my strength. But otherwise, everything felt great. Until the end of the class.

If you've ever taken yoga, you are probably nodding your head right now. (If you haven't, I'm about to enlighten you. :) )

Shavasana. The corpse pose.

The basic premise is that you lie on your mat, arms away from your body, legs slightly spread, eyes closed and just...be at peace.

(picture from yogarelaxationm.blogspot.com)

Sounds easy, right? Nope. I remember laying (lying, whatever) there, mind racing. I went through all the errands I needed to do, reminded myself about kids school stuff, calculated how much time I had to write now that I'd taken over an hour and a half off to try a yoga class, and generally let back in all the stress that I'd released over the class period. And thought yoga was great, except for that final pose. Yeah, right, just relax and let your mind and body float while you think about nothing.

I'm sure if my teacher was watching that I probably fidgeted most of that shavasana period. The teacher actually apologized because we'd gone a little bit long in the other poses and had to have a shortened eight minute shavasana instead of the regular ten to twelve minutes she usually allotted. All I could think was Thank God.

I went back for my second class and pretty much had the same experience. But over the next month, as I learned more about yoga and about the tenets of yoga practice, I began to experience the true beauty of shavasana. By freeing your mind and body of all the craziness of your everyday life, for a few precious minutes, you can actually achieve inner peace.

Of course, that peace won't necessarily last for long. But over time, you can train yourself to find it anytime and anywhere. There are so many things in our life that are out of our hands. We're just along for the ride. But in this one area, we have complete control.

And it feels amazing.

So in this new year, I'm wishing for you happiness, good health and a generous dose of inner peace.

Love, Lisa 

ps. If you are interested in reading more about inner peace, try this wonderful book by the Dalai Lama. How to Practice: The Way to a Meaningful Life 


Sophie Littlefield said...

I made it as far as the first yoga class....and discovered I couldn't handle all that stillness and peace :) I've found other things that work for me, but i envy those who get so much out of yoga.

Barbara said...

I just started yoga and haven't had more than a minute of inner peace during corpse pose. It never even occurred to me that your mind was supposed to be still then along with your body. Hmm. I'll try it tomorrow. Namaste.

Lisa Hughey said...

Barbara--try focusing your gaze (even though your eyes are closed) on the third eye right between your eyebrows. Namaste to you too :)

Sophie--the thing about yoga is it takes practice. one class won't do it for anyone. :) but yay for finding things that work.

Gigi Pandian said...

I've never been good at corpse pose! Even in the "The No OM Zone" Yoga DVD, the importance of the corpse pose is still stressed. Sigh.

Jeanne said...

Oh. Corpse pose. Yes. It's been over 10 years since my last yoga class, but I remember it well. My reactions have varied from having tears leak out uncontrollably (something about the music was too maudlin, and my favorite cat had just died) to falling sound asleep and waking myself up with a snore. (Maybe I was a tad too relaxed.)

Rachael Herron said...

I need to go back to yoga... this inspires me to do so....

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