Sometimes I just need to hold your hand.
I had an amazing experience in savasana (corpse pose) today.
I have a wonderful friend (whom I met in my favorite yoga class) who was with me in class this morning. I know she has been going through a lot of stressful things in her life lately. In spite of it all she maintains a funny, irreverent, positive (albeit sarcastic) attitude.
Next to each other on our mats, we went through our class with our usual giggles, some groans and lots of blissfulness and breathing. When we arrived at savasana we lay down on our mats, most props pushed aside, blankets over our legs, enjoying that rare moment to let it all go and let our bodies receive and process all of the benefits of our asana (yoga poses) and pranayama (breathing) that we had been practicing for the last hour.
About a minute into it my friend reached for my hand.
She held tight as did I and we lay this way for a good portion of savasana. I held on until she was ready to “let go” both physically and metaphorically.
I am fully aware of the “rules” of savasana but the realities of letting go and what that means hit me then and there.
Letting go in savasana is a process of both output and input.
It’s releasing but also receiving and it is a time of great vulnerability.
My friend’s need for grounding, connection and support right at that moment made perfect sense. It takes courage and self forgiveness to allow oneself to let go, to shed things that cause us pain or discomfort and to receive what benefits us.
And sometimes we need grounding and support the most in those moments. Thankfully yoga and the yogic community provide a safe place to truly listen to yourself and ask for what you need without judgement.
As a kids yoga instructor I have many tricks to help children feel “grounded” enough in savasana to contain the giggles and the squirmies and find real relaxation. Most of these “tricks” are using props (rocks, sand bags, eye pillows) to give the child the feeling of weight and pressure and connection, which create stability. If a child feels stable he feels safe, and in control which actually leads to a greater ability to “let go.”
As adults we are often expected or expect ourselves to create our own sense of safety and stability, especially in savasana. After all we are lying down on a mat.
However, today I was reminded that we all need grounding and support no matter what our position is and we can and should give it to each other.
Susan Verde is a certified children’s Yoga instructor, and writer, living in in East Hampton, New York, with her three children, twin boys Josh and Gabe, 8, and Sophia, 6. She teaches privately and at the Ross School in East Hampton. Her first picture book, “The Museum,” illustrated by award winning author and illustrator Peter H Reynolds will be released in the spring of 2013.
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Editor: Elysha Anderson