Monday, July 27, 2009

151/207 - Savasana

Sunday Off.

In the day 206 meditation, Gates says that spiritual ignorance manifests itself through fear, and we then divide the world into things that make us more or less afraid. On the mat, he says that the fears come through most clearly in Savasana.

Savasana is corpse pose. The whole point of Savasana is to achieve stillness, both of body and mind. We are told again and again that it is the easiest pose to teach and yet the hardest to master. My little joke is that it is the one pose that I know I will one day do perfectly.

At first its hard even to remain still in Savasana, especially in the many short ones we get in a Bikram class. I see many people who are adjusting their towels, wiping sweat, or just moving their arms and legs. Even these little movements, I think, are related to the kind of fear Gates talks about. The movements come because people are uncomfortable with the heat, the sweat, etc... But they also come out of a simple fear of letting things be, and just breathing.

The physical stillness, however, is relatively easy to achieve. It's much, much harder to keep the mind still. On good days, thoughts creep in. On less good days, they race around, they get stuck, they won't budge, or they just keep coming and coming. All these little thoughts, Gates says are simply reflections of our fears. I hadn't thought about it this way, but if he's right, then that simply shows how important Savasana is, because if you get good at it, it should be better than therapy since it lets you drive your fears away.

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