YOGA, PRANA, LOVE: A lifetime of devotion

The Art of Devotion: Part 2 of a six-part series.


By RAQUEL TAVARES — Savasana, known as the corpse pose, is the ‘Until death us do part’ aspect of the yoga practice. In savasana you experience the ultimate yama or moral code. In the posture you are asked to withdraw your senses, and lay completely still. Eventually, you should be able to still your breath so that an observer cannot tell that you are breathing.

B.K.S. Iyengar, the godfather of all yoga teachers and popularizer of the hatha style in the west, gives savasana this spin:

It evokes the experience of remaining in a state as in death and of ending the heartaches and the shocks that the flesh is heir to. It means relaxation, and therefore recuperation. It is not simply lying on one’s back with a vacant mind and gazing. It is the most difficult of yogic asanas to perfect, but it is also the most refreshing and rewarding.

In many ways, love is like savasana because it is difficult to obtain — and to understand. Only when you devote, surrender, and withdraw the senses can savasana be refreshing and rewarding. Conversely, when you disengage or run from love, you are running from the soul — in the Jungian sense of the word, “the God within.”

You are running from the experience of yoga. So if you disengage yourself from your yoga practice, it’s as if you are running from love. If you continue to run from your practice, or discredit it in any way, the Self — Jung’s favorite word for “the God within” — cannot connect with that God that animates all Being around you. Only through devotion to practice can this level of understanding be found.

NEXT: Bend thyself, re-wire thy core

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