“Now you can choose an individual asana” the yoga teacher said
“Oh thats great” giggled one of the students “its shavasana for me!”
The class laughed. This student was always looking for the easy way out and asking for a quick fix!
“Why shavasana?” enquired the teacher
“Because its the easiest asana of course” smiled the student
The teacher replied “mmm – lets see about that. Personally I find shavasana the most difficult asana to perform perfectly – letting go is not as easy as it sounds” The class looked at her with puzzled expressions on their faces. The teacher continued “Well the meaning of shavasana is the Corpse Posture and to be a corpse you have to be DEAD to this world – yes?”
I am sure there was a good reason or a deeper meaning for calling this the corpse pose or mritya asana the death pose, or it could have been called just…the pose of relaxation….or rest
We have learned various yoga techniques to relax the body and yet still, in this fast paced life, people find it difficult to do.
Then there are even deeper techniques as used in Yoga Nidras that allow the body ‘to sleep’ but keep the mind awake. These nidras also create a pratyahara as the senses are also withdrawn.
Now we are left with our mind. Can we let go of our emotions and our desires. Can we let go of our attachments to things, places, people and our relationships? – for ‘at death do we part’ A tear fell from a student’s cheek as she thought about ‘letting go’ of her family.
Let us think of everything around us and see if we can mentally let go. Let us see if we can let go of our education, upbringing and culture. For a corpse has none of these things. Let us find out where our “sticking points” are and where our attachments to this existence lie. If we can do this even just for moment we can be FREE. For if we truly “die to this life” and let it all go (albeit for a short time) then we can perform the perfect shavasanaon all levels and then coming out of it we would not only be RELAXED but REBORN, RENEWED and REJUVINATED. We would have a “clean slate” to appreciate everyhing as new
OK, lets begin lying head to the north and feet to the south……
This article of Sonia’s originally featured in Yoga Life Magazine