This week I unlocked an achievement - having the most number of people who did not recover from Savasana! Bahahahahah! It was very surprising, considering there was music blaring its lungs out from outside the studio!
I am only now, as I am writing this, realizing that what I intended to talk about today was already covered last week! Dafuq! Change plan, change plan!
As a yoga teacher, I believe in creating a space where everyone can tune into their inner selves & freely express themselves in a healthy way, without fear of being judged, & without the burden of judging others either! So I would definitely take it as a very big compliment if someone fell asleep in my class! Of course, ideally one is not supposed to fall asleep during Savasana, but how not to, when we are leading such hectic lives in today's modern age? & one of the reasons we come to yoga is to relax, so how not to fall asleep when we are relaxed??? :P
I never had trouble falling asleep - in fact, I think I sleep more than the average person...bahahahahah! When I told Gobuyan I wanted to be the Namaste Otter, he hinted at my spirit animal being a sloth. Meh. Can't really argue with that! All this changed, however, when I had hyperthyroidism a few years back. Before I got diagnosed, I started feeling jittery, nervous & anxious all the time, & during the nights, I could not for the life of me go to sleep. I would lie awake in bed for God-knows how long, tired yet heart palpitating & simply laying there in limbo between the Real World & Lalaland. It had a spiral effect: no sleep = tired = still can't gotdang sleep = more tired-er = bloody hell someone punch me unconscious already! = walking zombie! It was only then that I appreciated the ability to fall asleep. It also really had me experience the phenomenon of how one's emotions & physical body inter-relate.
Basically, hyperthyroidism causes the body to be in a hyped up state all the time, hence the heart palpitations & nervousness etc. This means that the 'off' button was broken, so even when it was time to wind down & relax, I could not, because my hormones wouldn't allow me to! So when the mind & body is not relaxed, how to sleep woh? :(
Thank God I made a full recovery. Yay! & besides that, my hyperthyroidism was the thing that brought me to yoga, so double yay! *confetti in the air!*
I also totally believe in the phenomena of 'sleep debt' - when we do not allocate enough time for sleep during the week, we have to 'pay off' our sleep debt over the weekend by sleeping in or having siestas.
I myself experienced this when I attended the 10-day Vipassana meditation course in Pahang earlier this year. During the first three days, it was a real struggle to stay awake. & I noticed many other students nodding off in the hall too. This was kind of surprising, as I've always considered myself lucky enough to have never held a nine to five job, therefore I never had to struggle with the stresses of common city folk. My job at the horse stables was easy, & considerably short hours, on top of that we worked odd hours, so rush hour traffic was never an issue.
Nevertheless, I still had sleep debt to pay off! However, after I'd paid off my debts, it was impossible to fall asleep during the day, even for a die-hard siesta fan like myself! So I would take walks round the compound, wash clothes (even including the ones which didn't really need washing!), anything to burn off some energy! Hahahahah! Makes me wonder if life back in the day was really that simple!
Looking back, I realize that gadgets, books, & other distractions are also things that can cause sleep debt! It's like, we voluntarily force ourselves to stay awake to 'layan' these things, at the expense of our rest time! Geez! Guilty as charged!
Yes, I am guilty of being too attached to my phone, especially since The Other Half lives in it. It was actually nice to have this 'tech detox' & period of enforced rest - not only from the world & its people but also from my environment. It really showed me how distracted I really am - before Vipassana I was already aware of how uncomfortable I can sometimes get when I have nothing to do - have you ever noticed how fidgety your mind can get, even when eating? Most of the time I can't eat my meal in solitary silence - I am either watching something on YouTube or reading an article!
So, other than learning the Vipassana technique, it was amazing to have those few days all to myself, although half of it was spent thinking about the outside world. :P *smack on the wrist!* Bad meditator! Bad! Bahahahahah!
It made me realize the value of doing nothing. Which, I was already doing from a long time ago, but at the same time, my 'nothing' was just an 'unproductive something' rather than a complete 'nothing'. Make sense?
To really spend time with yourself, getting to know yourself, without any expectations, any distractions, any obligations...how absolutely wonderful!
I prefer not to talk much in my classes, other than giving alignment cues & mentioning quickly the benefits of the poses. & especially in my Yin yoga classes, I like to emphasis at the beginning of the class that my students take the one hour of class to really come back to themselves. 24 hours, 7 days a week, one month, one year, we are listening to others, we are focusing on things outside of ourselves. Would it be unreasonable for us to spend just one hour with ourselves, appreciating our bodies & minds, loving ourselves, learning more about ourselves?
I don't even want my students to listen to me all the time. If a pose doesn't feel right for you, immediately come out of it, or if your body is telling you to move a certain way, then do it, regardless of what else is going on in class at that moment. Just don't be a nuisance to others, & don't start dancing the Macarena. The non-classical Harlem Shake would be acceptable, though. Bahahahahah! 'Do the Harlem Shake!' :P Just kidding..!
So yes, please do come to my class, even if it is just for the Savasnana!