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Relax. Release.

“Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field ~ I’ll meet you there.
When the soul lies in that grass, all thoughts will pass…”

The mystic poet, Jalal ad-Din Rumi offers us a picture of rest, becoming receptive to peace. He seems to paint a picture of the yogic practice of savasana (constructive rest). And while there is no evidence that Rumi practiced asana or wore Lululemon shorts, it’s safe to say that he is a beloved, honorary member of the Jivamukti family. 

In the Magic Ten and Beyond book, Sharon Gannon offers us 10 practices that carry us out beyond the limitations of who we think we are, shifting our perception and even challenging what we think we know. The tenth, final practice of the Magic Ten is rest, savasana, in a chapter called “Giving it Away”. In a 2008 Jivamukti Focus of the Month, Sharon taught us that the practice of savasana is more than just a mundane rest. She urges us to use savasana as an opportunity to drop our self-imposed limitations and to embrace the expansiveness and the love of who we are,  going as she says “beyond name and form, beyond pleasure and pain, beyond night, and beyond day…” Out beyond the limits of who we think we are, out beyond the limits of what we think is possible, there is the state of yoga. Yoga is a place of unity where we remember that we are all in this together, a place where we see a Truth that does not change and a Love that does not fail.  You might even say that yoga is already right here,~that heaven is here~  but sometimes we forget. Sometimes we get in our own way by resisting our natural state. So what do?  Relax the resistance! Trust that as we approach each day with an uplifted intention (to serve God in our own unique way, to be kind, and to stand for peace) our sincere efforts are enough.  And in that “enough-ness”, we are invited to relax. We are enough, we do enough and we have enough. In this fullness we can let go, seeing what we have to offer and giving it away in love. 

Savasana is a practice, something that for most of us we have to learn. We learn that we have the capacity to let go and trust. We learn that we are so much bigger than our roles, thoughts, cultures and ideas.  Magic happens when there is a shift in perception, an opening and receptivity to a new way of seeing, being, living and loving. Sometimes I try to make it all happen through my own will, but getting out of my own way, and trusting these ancient teachings is how magic comes through. Honoring rest each day is an important, beautiful practice. It is something that adds value and depth my daily routine and my yoga journey. 

Don’t sell yourself short, in your efforts, allow for grace. Remember the expansiveness of who you are according to these teachings, out beyond the smallness, the fear, the questions and the doubt there is a place of yoga filled with magic and love…I’ll meet you there. 

 

Teaching Tips:

  1. Read the guided meditation offered in the Magic 10 and Beyond book. You might read this before laying down and then mentally use it as a guide…or you may even record it and play it back so that as you relax your mind can let go, let God and go beyond! 

  2. Make yourself a playlist of relaxing, uplifting music for shavasana. You can time the playlist so that you don’t need to think about time.  No getting up or doing anything until the last song is complete and you breath new life back into the body where you live.

  3. Designate a space for relaxation. Set it up and offer it up. The space can be a yoga mat or anything else that facilities receptivity and relaxation. You may also consider using eye pillow/ mask, adding aromatherapy elements, and adjusting the room’s temperature if you are indoors. Create a space that inspires you to relax into the magic that is already right there, within us and around us at all times.