When the Easiest Is the Hardest

Some of you may still be stuck on the idea that shavasana is the most important of all the postures. "How hard can it be?" you might wonder. "How hard can it be to lie on the floor and relax?" Actually, shavasana is also the most challenging pose, even though it seems, at first, to be the easiest. In a way, the corpse pose is both the easiest and the hardest pose. Unlike some poses, where you first need to spend a lot of time developing strong ankles or upper arms or balance, the corpse pose can be assumed by anyone who can lie on the floor.

On the other hand, not only is relaxation a true challenge for many, but shavasana has a strong mental component, without which you aren't truly practicing shavasana. Just as you can hold the lotus pose perfectly without truly practicing yoga, you can certainly lie in what appears to be a perfect shavasana without coming close to a yogic state of mind. Ideally, shavasana could be practiced in the midst of total chaos, because the yogi in shavasana has utterly released him- or herself from the body. The rf! j\ body is merely a shell or a vessel, while the soul is di rectly connected with the universe. Certainly it takes a long while to reach this point, and the corpse pose can be practiced quite productively before this state is reached, but this is the ideal destination—and a challenging journey it is!

Let shavasana become a part of your workout, and take it just as seriously as any other posture—even more seriously. Your body will learn how to release all its tensions and will benefit even more from the other postures because of its time spent in shavasana. Your spirit, too, will learn how to soar beyond the limits of its "container." Now that's a powerful skill!

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