Life offers many different experiences. We will have adventures that make our heart soar, encounters that make us giggle with delight, losses that are heartbreaking and setbacks that make us question who we are. We are forced to re-evaluate our goals, our actions and ourselves, time and again. We are inspired or perhaps, frightened into assuming new approaches and to find new ways to live to keep ourselves safe and sane.
This is the human experience. All of life – in the animal kingdom, the plant world, and the human race – is subject to what is called: The life-death-life cycle.
One moment we can be flying high and the next we are on a quick panicked downward tumble. Life presents us with lot of ups and downs and how we deal with all the turns and twists of life will determine our happiness and sense of well-being.
A yoga class is a metaphor for life. As we practice our asana, we may experience moments of feeling quite glorious and accomplished, only to feel completely humbled by the next posture. We work through the asanas and settle into Savansana at the end of class. As we lay there on the floor, most of us feel restless because “laying around and doing nothing” is seriously discouraged in our culture. In addition, when we lay around, awake and alert, we are left with our thoughts. For some of us, that does not feel like a safe place. For these reasons and others, Savasana can be one of the hardest of all postures. However, if we can master Savasana, then it is said that we can gain more mastery over life.
Savasana is Sankrit for corpse pose or dead man’s pose. The objective of the posture is in the name. Savasana is the practice of “dying” or letting go of our old self. To master Savasana, we must let go of the ego, our desire to control things and just be. Savasana is a sacred pause between our yoga practice and picking ourselves up and carrying on with our lives.
In Savasana, we allow the benefits gained from the asana practice to trickle down deep into our cells. We allow the deep relaxation to bring forth the deep wisdom from the shadows of our mind to the forefront, from the subconscious to the conscious mind. We gently let go of the false roles we have assumed and allow ourselves to rise from our mat more aligned with who we truly are. It is similar to life; we must let go of old experiences, emotions, and limitations to ascend to new heights.
It is recommended that you allow 15-20 minutes for Savasana at the end of each yoga session. Allowing 15-20 minutes can be extremely challenging, so I encourage slowly lengthening your Savasana in your personal practice.