About the circle of life and letting go.
I have always been fascinated by the circle of life within a yoga class. We tune in with chanting, begin the class with a positive intention, breathe consciously, warm up and create an inner fire in which waste and negativity can dissolve. Some sequences seem like a joyful dance, others demand a lot of discipline from us. There are good and bad moments, we encounter fears and insecurities, some we get over, some need a few more lessons. We learn new things, repeat old ones, and can always observe our minds as they focus or go somewhere else entirely. As in life, so on the mat.
At the end, the relaxation awaits us from all the effort we have put in, called Savasana, the dead posture. From there, we roll onto our sides into the embryo posture - being reborn and a new cycle can begin. This is how I have seen it so far.
I have experienced countless savasanas in my yoga practice. And was always aware that this is the dead pose. However, I didn't really understand why it was called that until recently:
Savasana is supposed to help us to prepare for death. Yes, eventually maybe even to overcome the fear of death.
In Savasana we lie motionless and relax. In doing so, we can either guide the body into deep relaxation with autosuggestive commands, or, as in the more spiritual alternative described by Sharon Gannon in her book The Magic Ten and Beyond, we can surrender our bodies to God, the universe, Lord Siva, or a higher power in which we personally believe. Doing so one piece after another.
This experience is quite different. Already when handing over the first part of the body, one's own toes, to God or Lord Siva, an anxious feeling arises - and shows me how much I am - yoga or not - identified with the body.
I wonder how my subconscious mind will react if I simply give away my feet, legs, hips. Am I really a yogi if I doubt so much?
The queasy feeling, the fear increases with each body part. Then the enlightening thought that brings some relaxation "someday I will definitely give the body back anyway". But the fear comes back with the face at the latest. I decide to hold out nevertheless, and to give away the whole body, up to the emotions and thoughts to something higher. And there it is: the fear subsides. Then everything becomes easier, the circle of life closes and I let go.
After what feels like an eternity, a few minutes in real terms, I emerge from deepest relaxation, roll into the embryo posture and sit up again, fresh and relieved. One step further on the spiritual path and ready for the next chapter of my existence.