23 May The Shavasana Experience; Detach and Let Go !
In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika “Lying flat on the ground with the face upwards, in the manner of a dead body, is shavasana. It removes tiredness and enables the mind (and whole body) to relax.” ~ Chapter 1, Verse 32. Shava = corpse, asana = pose. So why is it becoming more and more difficult for students to lay there still, like a corpse, and just be? It is because we have lost our inner connection to lay and just breath and settle? Or it could very well be because of the mere thought of dying leaves us anxious and in a state far from blissful and nourishing as savasana calls us into. For a yogi, just like I had discussed karma and reincarnation last week, the practice of birth, living then eventually dying is the cycle of life and death. We do a moving asana practice to move the joints and make ourselves strong and healthy as part of the living process, then to eventually slow down and give it all up in savasana as part of our dying and detaching process. This can be metaphorical too – if there is anything in our lives that no longer serves our purpose then let us be reminded to set it free, rather than remain attached to it. Seek to let it go! Release it! Remove the stagnation of the breath, joints, muscles, tissues, organs and glands. OR, the release of burdens, obstacles, or someone or something. Racing off straight after the vinyasa or asana practice will not serve you any good. This is a crucial part of the practice and one that must be respected and carried out. Sometimes called “Mrutasana”, this asana relaxes the muscles and the blood vessels. It appears simple but is one of the most difficult to master. Releasing the mind from the body it creates Yogic relaxation in the shortest possible time. Relaxation of the body and mind is necessary in this modern age of commotion and materialism. Shavasana has been accepted as a remedy for pyschosomatic diseases caused on account of competitive and tumultous life. Savasana takes us into the Astral plane…then coming back all rejuvenated and relaxed we can continue with our daily activities. Santosha, 2nd of the Niyama’s of Pantajali ties nicely into savasana. The art of contentment, satisfaction, peace and love that lies within each and everyone of us especially so after a good class. Living in reality with all of its dramas but not adding to the chaos of it all. Accept, relinquish, journal the emotions, question the truths and the untruths until you come to a place of pure presence and satisfaction. Even if it is for a mere split second. Seconds lead to minutes, minutes leads to hours, hours can lead us into days..and so on… until our yoga practice remains with us forever and ever til we no longer have to journey back into the human form (reincarnation as discussed last week). A good savasana and santosha brings us to the new wave lately of Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is the equivalent to a good nights rest without actually falling asleep. My teacher Sri Dharma Mittra teaches this very well.
Asana of the week: Shavasana (Corpse pose)
Lie flat on your back with the hands away from the thighs and palms facing up fingers slightly curled in just like a corpse. Legs remain limp and floppy with either the heels together and toes apart or legs separated also. Eyes closed breath very slowly and consciously and gradually relax each part of the body. Relax the brain during exhalations. Direct the attention to the soul and to the God if you are a spiritualist. Find true relaxation and experience rest, peace and plenitude. Regular practice of Shavasana can reduce anger build up too so try to practice every day.
Mantra for this week: Om Ganeshaye Namaha
Sri Ganesha is the remover of obstacles, he will aid us in any difficulties we are facing currently in our life as well as any future impending ones. Whether you are a believer of mythical yoga or not.. allow this week’s practice to be a feeling of dissolving, hurdling through life, governing and ruling! Sri Ganesh is the Elephant God and the son of Shiva and Parvati. Goddess of wealth Lakshmi then adopted Lord Ganesha as her own son hence at times they are worshiped together to bring prosperity and wealth whilst removing any blockages that may reside. Either way, see this week to clear your own paths and set forth a peaceful time ahead. A Happy Yogi is a Happy World. Aum.