The Real Shavasana

Have a great yoga practice, full of energy, twists, new edges and surrendering to those precious moments of Shavasana (corpse pose) is delicious. The breath returns to normal, the heart slows down and a lot of things beyond the physical start to let go. If you let yourself drift in between the delicate balance of physical to non-physical awareness, you get a glimpse of the horizon that exists within you and beyond.

All fears, doubts, anger, and any other slew of nagging emotions can recede out of mental awareness. Peace, love, serenity and stillness settle if you let Nature take its course. Slowly, you're guided out of your shavasana and brought back to the physical world and get on with your day. The good dose of dopamine and new synaptic connections of positive thoughts help ingrain your practice in you to the cellular level.

Do you fear the REAL Shavasana? lie down and physically surrender for good. No touching of fingertips, no deep inhale, no reactivation of the thought process...the practice of life is truly over.

After attending a beautiful celebration of a close friend's mother, I started to really ponder the heart of Shavasana. Just like yoga, life is truly a practice. It doles out its mirage of experiences and each of us get to choose how to approach them. It is not meant to be an easy practice; otherwise, you would stagnate and fail to learn your strengths and weaknesses.

 In yoga, a new pose presents itself, a new challenge or a changed thought of approach reveals itself. Life is no different...except, you stay on the mat of life until the whole practice is complete. How you practice life boils down to choices. You can cast blame to excuse yourself for circumstances; however, true strength is built from an inner light that some hearts just can't help but fan with faith, hope and love.

My friend's mother was a true yogi...even though she never touched a mat. She took every challenge with the strength she possessed in her heart. She did not fear to be who she was and was anxious to be a part of people's lives. She made a difference in many lives that will be passed on in countless ways. She was loved by all who knew her. Even when tossed the C (cancer) card, she played her cards with hope, faith and courage. She waited for her miracle to manifest and her hope was realized. Miracles do happen and my friend was blessed to witness it.

Madeline passed away on September 24th; however, that is not to be considered losing the game. If we truly believed that concept, then know that every person in the past, present and future is a loser. I think you know better. The miracle, the gift, the delicious drift between the physical and non-physical world, gave her a glimpse of her next "practice." The sharing of this experience will forever change my practice of yoga and life.

Two days before she died, she woke up and was vividly lucid, pain-free, and in awe. She grabbed her daughter's hand, looked her in the eyes and exclaimed, "I've gotten a look at the Other Side. It is beautiful. So beautiful. Everyone is there. The colors are beautiful." Struck by the reality of what her mother was saying, her daughter told her she would be holding her hand until she was ready to join the others. She asked her mom, "you're not afraid anymore, are you?" Madeline smiled, shooked her head and whispered..."no, not anymore."

 "It is so beautiful..." and she squeezed her daughter's hand to reinforce what words were insufficient to express. She lost any fear and never lost hope because she discovered a new reality. No contrived illusion...a glimpse of what is past the edge of fear and doubt. What a miracle!

“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best thing, and no good thing ever dies”. (Shawshank Redemption)

The day she surrendered to her ultimate Shavasana, she was smiling. Not only smiling, but moving her lips with the remnants of physical strength she had left to the heartfelt song, You Are So Beautiful, by Joe Cocker. There was no resistance; only blissful surrender to the ultimate Shavasana we all will face one day.

 May we all have the peace within the heart to face Death with a smile and remember it is only a practice to take us to a brighter and more beautiful edge to cross over. Thank you, Madeline, for being who you were...nothing more, nothing less...simply beautiful.
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