Unlike other poses that call for strength or agility, this calls for nothing but rest. (And a lot of focus… yep, no escaping that)
Come to a seated position in the center of your mat and legs stretched in front of you. Slowly lower the upper body until you come to lie flat on your back. Stretch your arms to the sides of your body. Spread your fingers and toe. Close your eyes. Taking a deep breath in through your nose. Hold for five seconds and exhale loudly through the mouth.
Welcome to Shavasana.
There’s something about death that scares me senseless. Just the sound of its name often sends me into a whirlwind of anxiety. Worried about not having accomplished enough. Not having made the impact that I set out to.
Not living life to the fullest. It is the crippling feeling the darkness, loneliness, and quiet that is directly associated with it exude. It’s disturbing and humbling all at once. It is one of the few things I fear one day having to face. It is something that I constantly run away from. Though, silly rabbit, no one can escape death.
Try as I may to elude it, in yoga, there is an entire pose that embodies death. Shavasana or Corpse Pose is usually the final pose in the sequence that would be performed. But it serves such a larger intention in the overall dynamic of the experience. There is a duality to the idea of death here. One that speaks more highly of life than of death itself.
During Shavasana you’re asked to focus solely on breathing. Yes, I know, more b
reathing, but with this comes a special charge or responsibility.
A more complex challenge of the mind.
In this pose you often find yourself tasked with acknowledging thoughts as they come to mind, but also allowing yourself to let them go quickly. This is achieved by focusing on the breath. Bringing the mind back to the rhythm, the sound, the expansion that each inhale and exhale create.
Shavasana is a unique representation of rebirth. A rebirth of the heart and mind. Of emotions and command over thoughts. A birth of a new more open way of thinking and living.
Because while you are on that mat in corpse pose, you are putting to rest, or killing those things that hinder you. Those things that serve no fundamental purpose in influencing, advancing or empowering you. It is in Shavasana that the old passes giving way to the new.
Death and Life.
The old must pass away for the new to fill you up. New energy, new motivations, new goals and ambitions. The weight of the old has been lugged around long enough.
So as you take your time with this pose –because really, there’s absolutely no rush with this one– as you lose the awareness of your arms, legs, torso; as you find yourself transported into a realm of calm and oneness with yourself and with the universe around you, remember that this is where the new is found and where the positivity and good energy abounds
I bow to the divine in you as the spirit within me honors the spirit within you. Even in this crazy world.