I’ve done it. Have you?
As a yoga teacher, attempted to capture a moment by taking a picture of the students in savasana.
Savasana is corpse pose in yoga; it is the final posture that completes the class. The body is still, the eyes are closed and the room is quiet. Savasana allows the mind to release it's grip on 'stuff' which will increase the healing delta brain waves at night during sleep. Savasana calms the nervous system and fatigued muscles relax. Often of course, this is where the mind sorts out grocery lists but I digress.
Savasana is where the real magic happens.
So why are we interrupting that process by taking a picture of our students?
And just because the students aren’t aware of the photo being taken, does it make it okay?
I’ve been trying to understand why I/we are doing this?
I put it out to Facebook and received some very interesting comments back; I thank everyone for contributing to the conversation.
And personally, the savasana photos are some of my favorites, because you can truly see the serenity that is floating around in the room, and no-one in particular is identifiable (unless you know them well of course). VK
and I relate to this one
yep, because they are so beautiful and it is the only time I can get a chance when teaching. BG
I understand this. The picture below was taken for exactly that reason. I wanted to remember the incredible back-drop of scenery with such a beautiful group of yogis.
I wanted to capture the moment.
The more I spend in Nature and especially here in Cambridge walking the meadows, I am given the opportunity to feel into the sacredness of space. It lead to the question of why we take photos during this time.
Nature in her element, just is. She is completely present in all moments. There is something so deeply magical and healing about being in Nature; it's a true therapeutic hit to the soul.
My observations with students in savasana has shown that the same healing processes we receive in Nature show up in that all important resting posture. People's faces smooth out, the breath regulates and the body releases tension.
I've also considered how I would feel in savasana and find out later a picture had been taken.
Apparently some studios have a disclosure agreement when you first sign up and in other studios they do not. I can only imagine how that would go down in a class if we went around and asked our students;
oh hey, sorry to interrupt your savasana but do you mind if I quickly take your photo?
With the tentacles of social media reach and much of our lives online, it would seem that privacy is soon becoming a thing of the past. Time alone, in quiet with no digital interaction is increasingly rare these days.
From student's perspective;
I would say if the whole class consents to it maybe? And It's likely one person at least would say no go. I personally wouldn't dig it! And I've actually seen pictures of that and felt strange about it. I'm not a big fan of prayer pictures either. Sacred moment that is captured in the soul and that's where it can stay. BL
This also from a student;
Your eyes are most likely closed, so it seems invasive to have someone taking pics. I've been to festivals when they were taking pics, but my eyes were open and the photographers were in front of me. In that situation everyone is in the know, so I didn't mind. R
If someone has marked time out of their day for a class, then the entire practice needs to be respected. The effort they have made to be in a yoga class needs to be honoured with our full participation. The vulnerability of savasana in which you lay on your back in a room full of people you generally don’t know with closed eyes, needs the highest level of our attention. Students have shared how valuable that quiet time at the end of class is to their sanity and well-being. This is not the time for a promo shot for our Instagram accounts, no matter how serene it is.
Some of our students do want complete privacy in their yoga practice, we cannot forget this in a world of over-sharing.
This isn’t to subtract from the teachers who do honour and respect their students, who understand what sacred space is and take the odd photo. Like I've said, I am 100% guilty of the token savasana shot and I am all about sacred space.
This is probe for contemplation. Can we investigate a little deeper as to why we might want to take pictures in Savasana? What is it really about? I invite that contemplation into your practice with so much of our lives online. Can we allow this special moment of serenity to remain private? Can we allow for the therapeutic wonders of savasana to be given its due process?
Imagine what may actually start to happen if we do.