Savasana

I’m not a yoga practitioner. To be honest, I’ve only tried it a handful of times. Though I’ve enjoyed it when I have, I haven’t been able to make it a more significant part of my life. I believe I’d love it, given my fondness for meditation, but for now, it feels like it would only add to an already exhausting list of priorities. Perhaps, you may argue, that this the very reason that I should make it a priority. It’s certainly crossed my mind.

Recently I’ve had the word savasana on my mind, it just settles and repeats itself whenever I allow myself a moment of quiet thought. It’s a full and meaningful word don’t you think? It just rolls around your mouth, requiring that you whisper it, much like the lazy slither of a snake. Ssssavassssana. 

As a yoga position, it requires you to let your whole body relax, with an awareness of your chest rising and falling with each breath. It’s very similar to what I do in meditation, which is why it’s the one yoga pose I never struggle with. For me, it fits.

For the last few weeks I’ve felt like my whole life has been one perpetual savasana. I’m busy, of course, incredibly busy at work and at home, but I feel like my summer days have been one long exhale, like I’m held in this place of deep relaxation from which I am unable to extricate myself. It’s like I’m in between.

I’m tired, but generally content. I’m leaning into my life, letting it unfold into how I feel and what I need in the moment. I’ve come through endless months of transition, and turmoil and emotional upheaval. I’ve been working so hard to find myself, to learn to cope, to pass from what was to what is with self-confidence and grace. And I finally feel like I’m passing through from dark to light. But still, in-between.

If I sit quietly, I can see the outline of who I am brighter and stronger than ever before in my life. The anxiety still rocks my core, visiting just when I get too confident, but that silhouette is growing brighter and stronger every day. I’m finding my focus by letting go more often and learning to forgive myself. By honouring who I am as mother, woman, individual and wife, instead of allowing all of the pieces to war with each other as they have from the moment my first son was born. I’m finally settling into life with all the parts, and I’m doing it by respecting the needs of each, when they need it.

But it’s constant work—and this is one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned. There is no destination, there is only learning to live with each piece as it comes, and giving myself the strategies I need to do it. Knowing this, embracing it despite it’s inherent faults and challenges, is tremendously gratifying and empowering.

And so as I sit in this in-between, as I let myself notice each breath in and each breath out, a new, but vital awareness of how all the pieces of my life turn and twist together, some parts separate but, also, always inextricably linked, emerges. It doesn’t make living it less exhausting, only more peaceful.

I’m finally learning that I really can’t do it all, but that I can do what I need to do when it is needed.

It’s why I’ve been away for a bit. I’ve been needed elsewhere, and I just gave in, knowing that this place would eventually pull me back, when I was ready, when I needed the others pieces to step aside and give me the space I needed.

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17 thoughts on “Savasana

  1. harrietglynn says:

    I used to think I’d arrive somewhere. Now I really, really understand that there is no destination only a journey. There may be destinations (plural) but once you get there, you have to keep going. In a lot of ways, much of life is the in between spaces.

    Glad you’re seeing flickers of light. That happened to me recently, and within minutes, I started questioning it: “Wait, um, no I’m sure there’s something terrible I need to worry about.”

  2. Christa says:

    Yes. And here we are, happy to see you again.

    You are doing such huge work, Christine and kudos to you for taking good care of yourself.

    And yes, it’s all about the journey, my friend!

    XOXO

  3. Cathy says:

    I am also In Between now. I only wish mine was as peaceful as yours seems to be. Enjoy.

  4. You know how I feel about yoga, and I especially love Savasana. I can’t tell you how much exercise has done for me (aside from yoga, though I’d like to return to that more seriously soon, too.) We are really made to be much more active creatures than we are in the 21st century. I suspect it will help you deal with your anxiety the way it has helped me deal with mine. I no longer see it as an imposition on my time. It is essential, a saving grace. (Like books are for some people.)

  5. Lindsey says:

    So happy to hear you talk about your life as one long exhale right now, and of being held in a place that feels safe, and peaceful. I’ve always struggled with savasana myself … also, did you read Danielle LaPorte’s words on the same topic in the last couple of days!!?? Something in the universe … xox

  6. I need to learn to BE this: this quiet person, this still person. I love what you say about being able to more clearly see the outline of self. (I’d say you’re a prime candidate to love yoga, friend!)

  7. Mara says:

    I know that a lot of us feel the same way, hence the number of ‘I’ve been away’ posts and tweets. Sometimes we get lost in the rhythms of everyday and we are hesitant to disrupt that with something different or uncomfortable. My yoga teacher said something to me yesterday that might resonate: ‘If it feels difficult, awkward, or uncomfortable, its probably what you need the most.’ Hmmm

  8. What a great analogy. Savasana at the end of a yoga workout allows the body to incorporate the work that’s been done. Mental savasana seems equally useful in incorporating change into one’s life. It’s great that you are able to do it. I’d say if you find yourself losing that art, that’s when yoga could help build it into your life.

  9. pamela says:

    You did more yoga writing this post and living your life than in a million yoga classes. Namaste.

  10. Amber says:

    I could copy and paste your words into my journal as they match my summer perfectly. I know what you mean. Sometimes breaks come and I think letting your blogging rhythm flow naturally will help ease you in when you are ready to return.

    P.S. I like Yoga but I LOVE Pilates. So if you are looking for something similar, try it!

  11. Priscilla says:

    I’m so grateful to have found your blog on twitter. Thank you for my new mantra: I can do what I need to do when it is needed…Thank you and enjoy your time in savasana!

  12. Lauren Newby says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for awhile now and so glad to see you back. I’m no yoga-goer but I get a real sense of Savasana and the feel of it from your blog.

    “There is no destination, there is only learning to live with each piece as it comes” – your writing is beautiful and I can really feel what you’re saying. I’m feeling this in between in my life as well, exhausting but somehow still peaceful.

  13. It sounds like you’ve been doing exactly what you need to be doing, “leaning into life” as you so beautifully put it. I know I’m not always comfortable with feeling in between; it can be uncomfortable and uneasy to be half letting go and half holding on. But it sounds like you’re on the right track for sure: writing when it feels right, and not writing when it doesn’t. xo

  14. denise says:

    I love that you are listening to what is right for you–teasing out the whispers and letting them become vibrant, leading forces in your life. I love reading about your process–your thoughts, your fears, your progress. In Between. Yes. I know that feeling.

    xo

  15. I’m breathing deep, nourishing sighs as I read this. What a WONDERFUL report. This right here is what I have my own sights set on.

  16. You have just described (so beautifully) what recovery is like. From anything dark or hard or binding. I love this.

  17. Justine says:

    Christine, I love yoga but I used to leave a practice before savasana, thinking, what a waste of time. I can’t keep still so why bother. But once I got the hang of it, it was amazing how I did without for so long. That’s the only time throughout my day sometimes that I get to be still and to focus inwardly and what a difference it makes.

    And I love this: “It’s why I’ve been away for a bit. I’ve been needed elsewhere, and I just gave in, knowing that this place would eventually pull me back, when I was ready, when I needed the others pieces to step aside and give me the space I needed.” I feel the same way. I’ve not been on the blogosphere as much these days, being pulled in other directions, but I’m allowing myself this time away and when we give ourselves permission to step away or aside, it’s amazing how things fall into place a little better for us. Not having the pressure or anxiety to meet self-imposed expectations can do that for us I think.

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