Before using these yoga readings for Savasana in your classes, remember that Yoga, particularly in the US, has changed in the last couple of decades. It has become more of a form of exercise rather than connecting the mind and body. The majority of yoga classes are really asana classes because they purely focus on the physical poses of yoga.
I don’t think that this is bad though. A lot of people may start with the physical poses and down the road become interested in the other areas of yoga as well. And if they don’t find interest in the other parts of yoga? That’s fine too! Exercise is good for us and yoga asanas are a very enjoyable form of exercise.
My point is, not everyone wants more “yoga”, they might just want the poses. Make sure you assess your audience and understand the intentions of your students.
If you are a yoga teacher wanting to introduce some of the layers of yoga, the books below would be a great place to start. I recommend reading the whole book to deepen your own understanding. Then, bring short readings to your class.
I don’t recommend reading at the beginning of a Savasana. This will only create active minds during this restful time. Instead, do the reading as you are bringing the class out of Savasana. Another option would be to start the class your reading. This could serve as your Dharma talk or guide your Dharma talk.
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Yoga Readings for Savasana
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali: The Yoga Sutras are a guide to living a more purposeful and meaningful life. This is considered to do the defining yoga text. It was written over 1,700 years ago. You could have a series of classes focusing on the sutras.
The Yamas & Niyamasa: The Yamas & Niyamasa are the ethical guidelines of yoga. In this book, the author guides us through the Yamasa & Niyamas in a simple and easy to understand way. It would be great for beginners. And again, I think a series of classes focusing on the Yamas & Niyamasa would be an excellent way to introduce your students to another layer of yoga.
The Heart of Yoga: Developing a Personal Practice: This is one of the books I read for my yoga teacher training. It includes the Yamas & Niyamasa, The Yoga Sutras, and a lot more. If you are looking for a book that covers all of the big components of yoga, this is your book.
The Daily Stoic: 366 Meditations on Wisdom, Perseverance, and the Art of Living: This is not a book about yoga. However, I think there are many great quotes and opportunities for self-reflection in this book. It would also be a great option if you want to start bringing a deeper layer to your classes but think that your students wouldn’t be interested in the traditional teachings of yoga. The quote for January 1st from Epictetus reads,
The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that are my own…
I have written about several of the Yoga Sutras on Journeys of Yoga. Yoga Sutra 1.2 and Quieting the Mind is a post that I would recommend taking a look at.