“Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.”
– B.K.S. Iyengar
Welcome to Wednesday and our final week swimming through October’s ocean of yoga!!! We’ve explored The Yoga Sutras this month and immersed into the ancient teachings that sometimes get lost in translation. This week we take the steps to truly integrate the timeless wisdom into our daily life.
At the end of every yoga class, we lie down on our mats and practice the asana known as savasana (pronounced sha vasana), which literally means corpse pose. After spending almost an hour with our attention on our body and our surroundings, savasana gives our mind and body the opportunity to integrate the full experience of the yoga class – allowing us to surrender – in what can be considered a mini-nap before heading back out into the world. We relax our muscles, we let go of any tension, and we drift our awareness inward and let everything around us drift away as the hour of asana settles into our body. In this state of pratyahara (sensory withdrawal), we become aware of our breath, our thoughts, our intentions and we ease into a state of restful awareness.
Yet, by the time we are rolling our mats back up and saying Namaste to our fellow class mates, the power of establishing ourselves in one-ness is a faint memory, as our mind re-engages with all the chores, lists, responsibilities, and tasks yet to come. But that’s only if we view being on the mat as separate from the rest of our life.
Imagine if rather than viewing savasana simply as the conclusion of a class, we see it as a magnificent pattern interrupt and the prelude for everything that is yet to come – a mega-metaphor for dying to the past and birthing the next moment from a still, silent, pure, and infinite womb. That stillness can flow through us as we drive home, order our morning beverage, stand next to another BEing as we wait to cross the street, type our next text or email, talk to someone, and re-engage with the world outside of the studio.
Re-connecting to the present moment before we act allows our next expression to be pure, unconditioned, less reactive, and less laden with past interpretations and emotional charge. Coming from a place of stillness and silence – or even taking one breath before we respond – allows us to bring more of our authentic self to our thoughts, our words, and our actions. Coming into the next moment from a place of mini-savasana – allows the next moment to be pure, infinite, abundant, magnificent – unbounded by anxieties, fears, grievances, and old, stale, limiting beliefs.
We all know the physiological and emotional benefits of savasana – a slowing of our heart and breath, a relaxing of our blood pressure and muscle tension, an integration of everything we’ve just practiced and learned, and a letting go of what no longer serves us. But often as we wiggle our toes to re-start the pranic flow, we are back in our bodies, back in our minds – feeling good…but ready to slide back into who we were right before the class began.
Instead, as we wiggle our toes to come out of savasana, if we breathe in some deep gratitude that the pure potential of the next moment rests in our coming to it from a place of yogastha – being established in one-ness…being established in BEing…being established in presence moment awareness, then all of our interactions OFF the mat will reflect the trajectory of those last moments in savasana.
To help my yoga and meditation students connect to yogastha throughout the day, I encourage them to wiggle their toes the moment they sense emotional turbulence, a disappointment, a frustration, or an unmet need beginning to blossom. This stealth ritual is guaranteed to make you smile and will transport you back to the magnificent feeling of savasana, its deep relaxation, its pure surrender, the integration of your body, mind, and soul, and a subtle reminder that corpse pose is actually a re-birth. If each step we take OFF the mat is filled with the same present moment awareness we shared ON the mat, then every moment that flows through us and out into the world will carry the power and the beauty of Yogastha!
I have really enjoyed this month-long immersion into The Yoga Sutras. If you’ve found value in my blog, the videos, meditations, or my Hay House Radio show, let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org, calling me up on LIVE! from the SweetSpot, or joining me in person at one of my retreats, Immersions, or teacher trainings.
Remember, we are never really off the mat!! See you in the gap and HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Peace. -davidji
PLEASE BE PATIENT WHILE THE MEDITATION LOADS
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