“Find the repose within the pose.”
– Prashant Iyengar
I have been thinking a lot about this concept lately and have applied it in my teaching on several occasions, but what does it truly mean? Repose means to be at rest, but how do we find this place of peace during our practice? Finding the repose within a pose can be hard to understand for someone who is new to practicing yoga and doesn’t view each posture as an opportunity to rest and settle into their body. We can begin by finding the repose within everyday actions such as cooking, driving, or showering. We accumulate tension within certain areas of our bodies without being consciously aware of it. Take a moment and really tune into what your body is telling you and try to find a sense of calm within every movement. Breathe space and stillness into the areas which are holding your stress and then apply this principle during your practice. Settling into a pose is a difficult task and requires a lot of patience, but once it is understood you are capable of appreciating the sensations that arise in your body with each twist and bend. From here the true intention behind each pose is realized and a deeper release can be experienced. In my opinion, this brings the term ‘repose’ multiple meanings in Iyengar’s philosophy. Not only are we aiming to achieve peace and relaxation within even the most difficult of poses, but we are able to settle deeper into them as if to come into an entirely new pose each time. This is the ‘repose’. We use our breath as a vehicle for physical transformation; inhale and elongate your spine, exhale and sink deeper. It’s beautiful the way our bodies can adapt to whatever shape we are in, and yoga allows us to witness this spectacular phenomenon.
Learn and Love.