Nestle in With This Restful Winter Savasana

February 8, 2017    BY Amber Burke

Cover yourself with a blanket for this winter savasana, and feel free to put socks on! Have a friend read it to you, or record yourself reading it, and play it as you relax. (Or simply read it silently and slowly, then settle in for your savasana while a sense of the imagery still lingers.) If you’re a teacher, offer it to your students after they have tucked themselves in snugly for their final relaxation.

Think of this savasana as a kind of winter, a period of dormancy. Sometimes we bravely rally against our winter instincts; we go out, when we feel like staying in, under the covers. Allow yourself this time to give in to your impulses to be cozy and reclusive, to rest inside yourself, rather than going outward into the world.

You have nothing to do now, like the ground squirrels, the frogs, and the bears, who have all found spots that are safe and warm, and have entered a period of hibernation, conserving their energy.

You have nothing to do now, like many plants and trees, who have entered a winter dormancy, slowing their photosynthesis and respiration, stopping their growth. During this time, they repair and maintain themselves, ready themselves for the bright days ahead.

You have nothing to do now, like the seeds burrowed deep inside the earth, staying warm and hidden under a blanket of snow, biding their time until the world is warm and receptive, ready for their grand efforts.

Later, light will change its slant and will know it is time to move, time to begin to stir, but that time is far away.  

Elsewhere, there are animals still scurrying, leaving tracks behind them in the snow. There are winter birds still flying and diving. There are fish swimming in the water under the ice. But none of this has anything to do with you. People come and go: They light their fires at night. They gather together. Below stars that shimmer the way they do in winter, they tell each other stories of summer. But the snow makes their sounds distant and small, and they do not disturb you.

Your mind is quiet, as if deep inside you, there is an axis that tips the hemisphere of your attention either toward the activity and brilliance of the sun, or away from it; now this axis has tipped away from the sun, where things are more peaceful, and darker.

After a while, it’s time: The light is becoming stronger, and more direct. You can see it, orange and white, even behind your closed eyelids, and feel its warmth coursing across the skin of your face. This light is so vibrant it makes you feel like stretching, like rising. You feel rejuvenated, as if you’ve been resting deeply for months. You are hungry to rejoin the world, curious to see what has changed, and moved, and grown in your absence, and what, like you, is just beginning coming back to life.  

Amber Burke
Amber Burke lives in Abiquiu, New Mexico. She teaches alignment-based and restorative yoga privately (and occasionally at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs), as well as various writing classes at UNM Taos. With her anatomically-focused articles, she aims to broaden the interface between yoga and physical therapy. She and Bill Reif, MPT, are hard at work on a book for yoga practitioners with injuries and pre-existing conditions. She is a graduate of Yale, the Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars MFA... Read more>>

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