shavasana~~~part two

shavasana is simple, but not necessarily easy. it is, after all, a preparation for death. to make the practice accessible, here are some simple guidlines.

lie down, on your back, on the floor, if that’s comfortable for you, and if you can easily get up from the floor. it’s fine to use a yoga or exercise mat or a folded blanket for cushioning. a bed or sofa will be just fine if that’s more appealing. if you like, place a cushion under your head and a rolled towel or blanket under your knees to ease your lower back. if you feel okay to cover your eyes, please do eye pillow or a scarf work just fine.

man in shavasana

then, once you’re comfortable, begin to relax and surrender each part of your physical self by settling into the support of the floor (or bed/sofa). let the support rise up meet your body and allow it embrace you so that you don’t have to ‘hold’ your body.

with your physical self more tranquil, begin to attend to your breath. simply observe the flow of breath out and breath in. notice where in your body you experience the breath...nostrils, upper chest, back, belly. it could be anywhere...simply notice without judgement.


when your breath has calmed and has become regular and steady, allow your attention to focus on your mind. notice if it wanders, jumping from thought to thought like a monkey. simply notice...and allow the thoughts to arise and fade away. imagine your mind to be the vast open space of sky, your thoughts are the clouds that simply float across the sky of your mind.


thinking is the nature of the mind, just as digestion is the nature of the gut. so allow your mind to ‘have’ the thoughts without following their story. these are simply thoughts, not imperatives. slowly, you may notice there is more space between the cloud thoughts and they hold your attention more loosely.

when body, breath and mind are calm, notice how you are. become aware of the deep sense of peace, of letting go, of simply being....being exactly where and how you are.

this is the opportunity for surrender.

this is the opportunity for shavasana, the corpse pose...serene, receptive and united.

this is the opportunity of spiritual eldering.