Life Lessons From Yoga #3
Think about death every day for happiness.
Part of my August series on life philosophies learned from yoga.
It sounds a little bit counterintuitive, doesn’t it? But I have heard this time and time again. It is along those same lines of asking yourself how you’d live differently if you found out you only had a few months left. Would you feel that you had lived life to the fullest? Did you give it your all? Do the people you love and care about know that they are appreciated? Did you accomplish everything for which you had potential and did you do it in the way you wanted?
All yoga classes are finished off with savasana pose, otherwise known as corpse pose or final resting pose. It is the last pose of the practice and the purpose of it is to integrate the benefits of the practice. The pose is done by lying flat on one’s back with palms turned up, feet turned out and slightly open, with closed eyes. Savasana is a time to just focus on how you feel and to allow the mind to go in to a deep meditative state. The point is to relax, which sometimes makes it the hardest pose.
Sometimes at the end of class, you’ll feel you didn’t have a very good class, like you just weren’t on it, or had mental or physical roadblocks that frustrated you. Savasana is the time to let go of what was and what is to come later in the day or later in life. It’s about accepting what is now and feeling what the practice has done for your mind, body, and soul.
It’s the same in the moment of death, I imagine. We might not have done everything as well as we would have hoped but can we accept it for what it was and find peace? Can we imagine how those in our sphere of influence benefited by us showing up and learning and doing our best? The beauty of yoga is that after practice is over, we do have the opportunity at a new beginning and to make our world a better place.
I guess everyone thinks about something different during savasana and the point is to not really think of anything, but I actually have a bit of a ritual I do during this pose. I physically leave my body, allowing the support of the earth to regenerate me physically and emotionally. Mentally I take a trip, which fortunately for my imagination, happens to be on a unicorn with a heated saddle. I ride my unicorn through the air among the treetops and all my favorite places in the world (real or imagined) and I try to drop in on each person I love or want to send a particular healing energy to that day. Often times it may be a person who is making my life difficult. I figure they need this love the most. Many times this results in tears streaming down my face and I don’t care. Savasana helps remind me that when my time comes, I know I have checked in to see how me living my life to the best of my ability might possibly be making the world a brighter and more loving place.