Last night at the end of class, no one wanted to leave.
Everyone rolled over and sat up. We sang Om, acknowledged the land and said Namaste to end.
But nobody moved.
It was 9pm, and the light was starting to fade from the sky. We could hear the class in the next room start to stir, floorboards creaking as people walked back and forth, putting away their props. But in the front studio, it was utterly still.
Some people had their eyes closed. Some kept their hands in a prayer position in front of their hearts. Some people had their heads cocked, like they were trying to hear as clearly as they could the depth and detail of the silence.
And we floated in it, together. For several minutes. Then slowly, one or two people began to turn their heads side to side, move their shoulders, shuffle their props. The spell broke.
But even as I walked about the room and stowed my props away, changed clothes and went out into the night, I could still feel that long moment of stillness. Like a tiny gem in my core. I felt like I was moving around it, the sway of my step more full and acute from having been so still.
This happens a few times a year in my classes, and I cherish it when it occurs. When everyone silently agrees to sit motionless in the moment after class, to be still before we move again, to enjoy and inhabit a pause.
This is it! I want to exclaim when it happens. This is the thing! This is the experience of soft aliveness, of mindful and quiet noticing, of simply be-ing!
But I don’t need to exclaim it. I don’t need to point it out. It is obvious to all of us, and it is precious and beautiful.
If you have yet to experience such a moment of stillness after a yoga class, I encourage you to try our drop-in Rest & Renew class with Leena on Thursdays. The whole class is focused on gearing down, easing into comfortable positions, and inhabiting those moments of soft aliveness and gentle breath. Many students have told us that they feel more rested after this 75 minute class than after a whole night of sleeping.
And if you would like to spend an entire weekend on pause, Leena and I will be teaching a Restorative Yoga Immersion in November. This weekend will be a sweet retreat in the city, teaching you our favourite tools for self-care. We will look at the most deluxe and comfortable ways to set up restorative poses, and how to create sequences to boost or soften your energy levels throughout the winter. You will leave with tangible practices to take into your life, and an experience of stillness to hold at your core.
Come rest with us.
Leena & Emma