April 13, 2010

Sleep is for the chic

The Death Jam.
At the end of every yoga class we take the most important, and for many of us the most difficult, pose - Savasana (pronounced shavasana.) Savasana is difficult because there is no stretching, strengthening or fidgeting allowed; it is the art of doing nothing: just being. Savasana is translated into English to mean 'corpse pose' because it is the practice of dying. In yoga we also discuss that every fear can be reduced to the fear of dying, and the Buddhists believe that if we let go of this fear- the root of all suffering- we will find freedom and happiness.

Please,please,please I beg of you do not roll up your mat and skip out on Savasana*, every other pose is leading up to this pose; we go through the physical motions of hatha yoga only to reach the final most desirable state of meditation- and preparation for our death! I know it sounds morbid, but that's just our conditioning talking. By examining uncomfortable topics we get to work through them and find a release on the other side. I like to imagine a doorway- breathing through that doorway of discomfort in order to find a spacious room of release on the other side. If you feel any pain enter and face that pain: get to know it, what color is it? What temperature is it? What shape is it? Is it Sharp? Dull? Smooth? Jagged? Hot? Cold? Itchy? Sticky? Name it. Get inside of it and breath into it. Walk through the doorway.

"Get over it?!" I don't think so. Go through it.
Ps: I love to sleep! Use your yoga breathing tools and Savasana pose if your having troubles. The above pose on the iPad-doodle has her hands one over the other nuzzled up into her occipital ridge where the spine meets the skull. This position aligns our entire body and clears the energy pathways. With arms like this, try not to cross the ankles and simply watch the breath.
I have been known to zonk out for 12 hours at a time (shameful,) 6-8 is far better.

*and if you don't get a Savasana, shame on your teacher - I'm sure she has a good excuse- but you'll have to squeeze in your own later in the day. Maybe in your parked car? If your yoga class does not include Savasana at all, ever, well, my friend, I don't think that's yoga your doing then.

Though we are busy living, we must make time to die a little too.

1 comment:

Jared said...

Agreed Miss Parker! I find Savasana to sometimes be the most intense part of my practice, depending on what's going through my head that day. Sometimes I really fall asleep though and the instructor has to come over to wake me up and I'm a little embarrassed :)