"It's as if a great bird lives inside the stone of our days and since no sculptor can free it, it has to wait for the elements to wear us down, till it is free to fly." Mark Nepo

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Life in Death


We're told the savasana pose is the most important. Savasana: corpse pose. Lying on the floor, relaxed, not moving, not thinking. Being a dead body - only with breathing.

While I really appreciate this pose, especially after nearly an hour of movement in one hundred five degree heat that feels like it might kill me, I'm having a hard time grasping savasana as the most important.

It appears first at the end of the standing poses, repeats after every floor pose we do, and is the last pose of the session. We're encouraged on the last one to stay in savasana until our breathing returns to normal - to not rush it - to give ourselves time to completely recover.

The teaching is that being in the corpse position allows a body to absorb the work it has just completed.

Allowing time to rest, to absorb, to simply exist, is more important than working hard? You can't rest if you haven't worked. I get that. But, really? The resting is the key element? It's not only okay but essential to stop from time to time, to die to the voices and demands and to do nothing but breathe and be?

It's an interesting process to be teaching my body lessons that the rest of me has such a hard time learning. Work without the balance of rest harms. Being is an admirable goal. Dying facilitates new life.

image from Flickr


11 comments:

Tabitha Bird said...

Love this post and I agree. What we learn in stillness adds to the wisdom of later movements.

Jessica said...

That's a really good lesson! Thank you for sharing it. :-)

Janna Qualman said...

I'll think of this post and your lesson next time I'm in that pose. I will be conscious of it springing new life into me.

Thanks.

deb said...

That last paragraph is what I need to hear, over and over again.

Jerri said...

It's a tough lesson, Deb, but a really good one. And sounds appropriate for this point in your life. Thanks for the reminder.

I'm so proud of you for sticking (or maybe stickying) out such hot, hard classes.

FrecklesandDeb said...

You wouldn't think that resting would be such a hard lesson, but it certainly is. Unfortunately, I did a little too much resting this weekend. Now, back to work!

Trulyana said...

Happy to know you are learning about a new way of being. Stopping is sure important as it allows the flow of life to enter, and this is really who we are. I don't think we need to work, to figure that out. Thank you for stopping by my blog.

Trulyana said...

By the way, I love that painting. :) Very expressional. Did you do it, or was it someone else?

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Thank you for this timely post.

She said...

"Dying facilitates new life!" Whew! I'm ready for the new life part of that sentence!

I adore you!

Go Mama said...

Love this post. Love that in yoga, the body is the gateway to transformation and transcendence. Even in stillness, breathing, there is life.