Savasana – A Space I Could Trust

October 8, 2020
I had been practicing yoga for about eight months, and there was only one place where I could fully trust life. It was the last 20 minutes of a 90-minute Hatha yoga class, where we practiced the relaxation pose lying on our backs. In Savasana, I didn’t have to be anything to anyone. I just was. 

At the same time, I was both everything and nothing at all. I expanded outside of myself while simultaneously disappearing altogether. I was free. In class, I felt like I was going through intense pre-soak, then a washing machine cycle, and lastly being tossed about in a commercial dryer. My mind and body were badly stained garments. But my whole foods plant-based diet was a powerful eco-friendly detergent, and my yoga poses were a state-of-the-art washer, and Savasana was the dryer. Each of these worked in partnership to dissolve past negative experiences, which had left lasting stains on the fabric of my soul.

My stained garments felt too valuable to throw away, yet, too damaged to be worn in public. But perhaps with the right care and effort, these articles of clothing could be fully functional again. 

In the class, the beginning movements scrubbed a little deeper into my life experiences. The nutrient-dense diet lathered up my internal organs and muscles, and within the first 15 minutes of class, I could feel the cleansing agents working. My jaws would unclench and my eyebrows would unfurrow. 

Savasana centered my mind. The single-leg raises lengthened my muscles and perspective. The knee-to-chest poses and gentle spinal twists stretched my hamstrings and back, opened my hips and massaged my stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas, and spleen. 

All of this is important because I was being stretched, pulled, twisted, and compressed from the inside out. These movements were mining into crevices that were otherwise hard to reach. 

For about 70 minutes, I did postures that looked easy and static, but in fact, were challenging and dynamic. Internally, I experienced the equivalent of a final rinse with an extra spin cycle. I was wet and wrung out.
Last, I had to hold onto my center for fear of spinning out of control. For the remaining 20 minutes, I had to lock myself in. The guided relaxation began the dryer cycle. While I lay there in Savasana, I was holistically tossed around. My daily troubles evaporated, and life’s wrinkles straightened themselves out. 

This happened every time I entered class drenched from life, and without fail, I left class feeling less stained, less damaged.

With each washing, I was becoming more and more functional. I had a feeling the emotional garment would never be a Cinderella ball gown, but it could become a sturdy pair of jeans, classic fit, to be worn any day of the week at home and in public.

Savasana was a space I could trust—a place where the truth of who I was could live without the shame of having been stained by life.

Saeeda Hafiz

Saeeda Hafiz is a yoga teacher, wellness expert, and the author of The Healing: One Woman’s Journey from Poverty to Inner Riches.  Learn more about Saeeda and purchase her book here.

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