Tree pose is one of my favorite yoga poses. Shaking out the standing leg afterwards is one of my least favorite yoga habits.
Yoga is meant to be a meditative practice that brings calm to the mind and body. Shaking body parts directly after a period of concentrated work seems to the exact opposite of what the practice seeks. The nervous system that has just been soothed is now jangled.
One of my favorite aspects of writing this blog is having the willingness to put my thoughts into the electronic ether and get feedback. I have learned so much this way and it is why I think all yoga teachers should write a blog. It is one thing to have a plethora of opinions; it is another to put them under the microscope of public opinion. I am curious to hear what people think of this.
Shaking the body out after yoga poses is a distraction from the practice and distraction is one of the many stumbling blocks of yoga. It was long why I had trouble developing a home practice, though laziness also played a bog part (I would begin my sun salutes waiting for the phone to ring or a blog idea to enter my head so that I can stop). Drinking water in between poses is another of these avoidance techniques that I witness often but I think the shaking out thing after yoga poses has a more insidious effect.
Yoga Poses Calm the Nervous System
Yoga has many great benefits but calming the nervous system has to be at the top of the list. I am sure that most athletes feel that they are getting a meditative quality from working out, whatever the choice of movement might be but I, maybe arrogantly, think that is the point of the yoga practice. It is the argument for having a vinyasa practice as long as it isn’t done at super speed.
Our nervous system is under attack in the modern world at every turn. Yoga can and should be a meditative oasis where the nervous system finds ease and harmony from the nature of the way we do our poses.
Shaking out our limbs after doing taxing yoga poses seems to be a contraindication of what we are seeking from the practice.