Out of the many Yoga postures, there is one particular asana that even the most seasoned instructors dread teaching. In fact, it is so challenging that not too many attempt it at the start of a Yoga class. The posture is called Shavasana, aka the Corpse Pose. It is also, incorrectly, referred to as the Relaxation Pose. Why, you may ask, am I referring to it as a difficult position? After all, it seems that all one is expected to do is, well, nothing. Right. That is exactly why this posture is so challenging for most people to assume at the start of a Yoga class.
Shavasana is not a relaxation pose but, rather, it is a state of being; opposite to what we normally do. If, in our everyday life, we are busybodies, either by action or by thought, (or both,) while practicing the Corpse Pose we are to do the exact opposite: not do. That doesn’t mean going to sleep, resting or even relaxing. Yes, relaxation may be a byproduct of Shavasana but, all by itself, it is, for most of us, if practiced correctly, quite intense. This is because the majority of us do not know how ‘not to do’… Doing nothing goes against the grain of everything we were brought up to be, to identify with, who we think we are. Thus attempting to practice it right at the start of a Yoga lesson is all but possible. Even practitioners who manage to stay still with their body, find it superbly challenging to quieten their minds. Yet, at the end of a full Yoga class, the situation is typically quite different. Through the magical practice of Yoga, something changes, enabling most yogis to be fully in the moment. And being in the moment while practicing Shavasna is second only to bliss; on occasion, it is bliss.
Learned from: observations while instructing Yoga.