A couple of years ago, I enjoyed viewing a calendar that had been put together by a group at a yoga retreat in New Zealand. It was designed to spoof the “cover girl” approach to yoga magazines and calendars. You know what I mean? Images like this:
Or even like this:
And, how about this:
The retreaters’ calendar was quite hilarious and included pics of yoga students doing lots of versions of savasana (the yoga relaxation pose). Admittedly, some of these relaxation poses were being done on couches and overstuffed chairs, and there were opened chocolate wrappers in plain view. But the models did look completely chilled.
In my yoga teaching experience, I’ve notice that most students are inspired by the ability to perform advanced postures. Whether or not their bodies are ready to accept them is another issue. Yoga is often considered synonymous with body contortions and this view is re-inforced by book, magazine and calendar images.
Interestingly, as our population becomes weighted towards older individuals, there’s been an increased need for yoga for special needs – menopause, medical conditions, rehabilitation from surgery and injuries. Co-arising with classes in the hot-and-sweaty, more advanced styles of yoga, there are more remedial yoga classes, and more teachers qualified to teach therapeutically.
Whether young or old, a daily dose of restorative poses, one of which is savasana, is very much needed and wanted. Judith Lasater, author of the bible of relaxation poses, Relax and Renew, extols supine poses where the body is draped over blankets and a bolsters…hmmm…perhaps like the calendar models I’d viewed were portraying.
*Please feel free to collect the Savasana image (above) for your screen saver.