Stop fidgeting

I recently took a yoga class with Yves Oberlin, an Austin-based Iyengar teacher who was subbing for my teacher Louie Ettling. He gave us a relatively generous eight-minute savasana, first instructing to find the pose in our bodies, tucking our shoulders under and so forth. Then he said, “After a while, don’t move. Don’t keep adjusting and re-adjusting. Just accept that this is the way things are.” (Something to that effect.)

Who knows about my classmates’ reactions, but that struck me as a profound statement. Sure, he was referring to an asana, but I projected it to life itself.

Don’t we all eventually (and sooner rather than later) need to accept the realities and live with them? To stop questioning, seeking, trying to change what might very well be “it”: who we are and the lives we’ve created for ourselves.

In savasana, how bad can it be anyway? Might as well stop fidgeting and appreciate the remaining moments of stillness. In life, things can be bad. But (as I’m frequently reminded by a guy who knows me very well) not for someone like me. Really, my “acceptance” should be “appreciation.”

But, for us chronic malcontents, to stop fidgeting is a tall order.

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Image: “Find Serenity in Savasana,” Judith Hanson Lasater, Yoga Journal

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7 thoughts on “Stop fidgeting

  1. I tell the exact same thing to my students. and of course it transcends to life itself because yoga is about life as Krishnamacharya said.

  2. This is a big challenge for me. I find in savasana, and I fear in life as well, that I spend so long trying to square up my alignment that I’m missing the experience entirely. Better to just relax with my uneven hips and tilted head than worry too much about perfection.

  3. This is a nice thought. It’s one of the things I appreciate in a more flow-oriented practice actually, is that it’s not about figeting and fussing every detail of your alignment over and over in a pose, but about letting go, feeling the flow. Over time, the poses progress organically.

    I believe it was the Dalai Lama who said: “Learning to live is learning to let go.”

    Hari om to that!

  4. Judith Lasater says that Savasana should be 15 minutes minimum. Very challenging to fit that in every day but I can see what she means about how long it takes to sink down and even get into that (head) space. Sometimes props can be very, um, supportive when trying to stop fidgeting.

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