Have you ever noticed that sometimes at the end of shavasana, before you begin to breathe deeper or to move, there is a sense of peace and stillness in the room and in your body? Having experienced many shavasanas both as a participant and as a witness, I continue to be awed by the energetic state of a room in which shavasana has just occurred. It is calm and serene and seems to be absolutely still. Yet I know “stillness” is not exactly the right way to describe the feeling in the room.
I’ve been contemplating the possibility that perhaps what is felt at those moments is not stillness at all but something more like synchronicity. Science tells us that absolute stillness does not exist – everything is composed of billions of particles that are all vibrating at varying rates. Perhaps what we perceive as stillness is really just all of our particular particles vibrating at the same rate – in synch with one another? When we’re in a group setting like a class, the peaceful energy that can be felt might just be each person’s particles vibrating in concert with everyone else’s in the room.
Science backs up my theory with a concept called entrainment. Entrainment is when one vibrating, pulsing entity influences the vibrations or pulsations of another so that their rhythms synchronise. In a fascinating article by harmonics expert Jonathan Goldman, he states:
“Entrainment is found throughout nature. Fireflies blinking on and off entrain with each other. Female college roommates often have menstrual cycles that synchronize together. Muscle cells from the heart, when they move closer together, suddenly shift in their rhythm and start pulsing together, perfectly synchronized. This entrainment also takes place when two people have a good conversation. Their brain waves oscillate synchronously.”
So consider this possibility with me: when we synchronise our own internal rhythms and find that sense of peace or stillness through yoga or meditation, it could be considered a service. Firstly to ourselves and then to our loved ones and perhaps even to the people we pass on the street when we feel this sense of calm. When our own energy is balanced and we’re feeling “in synch”, perhaps our particles offer some clue to the particles of the people around us about what is possible for them? Or perhaps we can offer them a little bit of a reprieve from the frantic energy with which they contend normally? In learning to create this synchronicity in ourselves on a regular basis, are we not contributing to the greater good in some small way just by being?
The next time you’re in shavasana, I invite you to really allow yourself experience it fully. So often we rush through this crucial part of the practice or if we’re in a class, we endure it impatiently, just waiting til we can get back to our to-do lists. See what happens if you allow yourself to drop into synchronicity so that you can fully experience this gift of yoga and so that you can share it with the people you encounter, just simply by having the residue of it in your system. When you’re just about to move out of shavasana, take a moment to savour your body rhythms being fully entrained with one another. If you happen to be in a community of other yogis, consider your energetic connection with all of them. And acknowledge the service you are offering the world by finding repose within yourself and harmony within your community.
~article by Kelly Fisher