Are you integrating?
My first real experience with Yoga—beyond a few workout DVDs—was a Bikram hot yoga session with one of my CrossFit friends. At the end of class, I was dripping with sweat, exhausted, near-delirious from the heat. I practically welcomed death. We laid down on the mat for the final pose—Savasana—and all I could do was take shallow breaths until the instructor brought around cold towels to revive us.
I didn’t yet realize that Savasan was a pose. That it was supposed to be an active part of the practice. I experienced it as a time of recovery, yes. And blessed relief. And that’s it.
Now that my Yoga experience has evolved—and I’ve abandoned Bikram (it’s not for me)—I realize that Savasana is so much more. Yes it is rest. Rest with a purpose: Recovery. Integration. Focus. Intention. And transition to the next thing.
Where else in our lives could we use a little bit more of that?
It turns out: everywhere.
When we learn something new, we actually don’t learn it—create memory storage and access pathways—until after the experience is over and we rest.
We are most creative, making solid connections between the new information and old, after we rest.
We derive meaning from our experience not while we are within it, but later, when we reflect upon it.
So much of what is important to us—learning, growth, meaningful interactions—don’t actually take place when they happen, but solidify during periods of repose. Reflection. And rest. In Savasana.
So ask yourself: are you integrating? Are you reflecting? Are you taking the time to make your experiences meaningful? Or are you rush-rush-rushing? Sacrificing yourself on the alter of Busy? Skipping sleep and relaxation? Carrying your emotional baggage from one encounter to the next?
If you’re rushing—and I bet you’re rushing, because we all are rushing—what can you do about it?
If you know that you must make integration and rest a priority if you ever are going to reap its benefits, what are you going to do about it? If you understand the impact of worshiping Busy and wish instead for something else, what are you going to do about it? If you want to create memory, and ideas, and connections, and meaning, what are you going to do about it?
When I am working with coaching clients, we set an intention from the beginning that each session will last only 45 minutes. For their benefit and mine. So we both have time after to reflect and transition from our world to the next world.
I know a Government official who starts meetings on the half-hour instead of the hour. It gives her time to prepare before and time after to jot notes, follow-up, and transition. Her schedule strategy is so rare that it also means she always has an extra half-hour of time in the conference room before the next meeting starts, reducing the pressure to rush through the end of the meeting and the discussion about next steps.
I have a coaching client who tries to never schedule more than two meetings back-to-back, so that she has a big chunk of time every few hours to reset, reflect, and reengage with the world on her terms.
It can be as simple as that.
Even after 90 minutes of intense, burning-hot yoga, Savasana only lasts for about 10. It doesn’t take much. And that little bit goes a long way toward helping to achieve your goals: to create memory, and new ideas, and connections, and meaning.
Are you integrating?
Try a little Savasana.
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