Welcome to my new series: Off the Mat. The physical practice of yoga has given me an incredible amount of tools I use off my mat. This series will be a place to share those. I'd love to hear about your stories too! #comments
I'm just here for Savasana. No really, I am.
I've spent the last 10 months studying a new Yama or Niyama every month (if you haven't heard of them are basically ethical ways of living, guidelines that bring understanding to experiences). I've just landed on the final Niyama, Ishvara Pranidhana, which in English translates to surrender. As a part of studying surrender I've been looking at which yoga poses require me to surrender on my mat and while there are many, (pigeon) Savasana is a big one.
There are water bottles, tank tops, and yoga mats that say "I'm just here for Savasana". I've never really loved these products, mostly because I get so much more out of almost every other pose. Savasana is the easiest pose, right? Just laying on your back with your arms by your side and palms face up. And ya, my mind wanders but it's not like I have to hold any long difficult pose. It's simple. I just couldn't understand why people were so obsessed with going to yoga just for Savasana. And God forbid I like a product because it's humorous. #earnestastheycome
Today Savasana taught me something. I was speaking to my students who were laying on their backs with their palms face up, I said "There is nothing here to do or be, nothing to fix or figure out. The purpose of this pose is to surrender with openness". And there it was, a truth. Not a Savasana goes by where I'm not distracted or fidgeting. Not a day goes by that I am not trying to do, be, fix or figure out something. There hasn't been much in the way of surrender in my life lately. I resist the work of my soul and won't accept the way my life is flowing so I find myself fighting. Resisting and fighting are leaving me tired, hurt, lonely, and jealous. All the ugly parts of me win when I don't choose to surrender. And what is it that actually gets surrendered? Ego. If I surrender my ego, I can open my heart, I can accept the higher purpose of my life. There is a quote that reminds me of this "Do what is yours to do; don't do what is not yours to do." - Swami Rama. If I resist, I am constantly trying to do what is not mine, or be what is not me. By surrendering, I am able to see and do my task for humanity, which allows me to be myself.
So yes, tonight when I get on my mat, I am doing it for savasana, the best opportunity to surrender.