A decade ago, I stumbled into what felt like a parallel universe. I was in grad school at the time, spending countless hours at Bobst library, basically undergoing an intellectual bootcamp. Academic life is as linear as it gets, and even though I had been happy to jump through all the hoops I had needed to jump through to get into that program, I was a few months in and already feeling pretty tapped out.
And then, I got the email that changed my life.
I didn’t fully appreciate this at the time, but when I was coming-of-age, I did so in New York and at the heels of one of the most adventurous people I have ever met. This was pre-internet and social media, and everything felt like it was word-of-mouth or underground. I took for granted that my backyard was one of the world’s most famous grids, and it wouldn’t be till years later that I would realize just how sharp my street-smarts were.
In general, us Westerners have a hell of a time being still. If there’s one thing I learned from teaching hot yoga in one of the most non-stop cities in the world, it’s that when we feel uncomfortable, practicing stillness becomes nearly impossible.
This was most evident in the practice of Savasana, a posture that translates from Sanskrit to “corpse pose,” which requires complete stillness and relaxation. In Hatha Yoga, Savasana is practiced right after a more vigorous posture, and though it requires little of us, the stillness and relaxation is far easier said than done.