September 5, 2013

The Art of Letting Go: Lessons Learned from Yogic Savasana. ~ Tova Payne

If you’ve ever gone to a yoga class, you have likely experienced the final pose—Savasana.

Some people call it relaxation pose—an opportunity to absorb the benefits of all the poses. However, the direct English translation for Savasana is corpse pose.

Ultimately, Savasana teaches us the art of letting go.

There are several ways we practice ‘letting go’ within the physical pose. One thing we let go of is controlling the breath. Throughout the yoga class, the attention to the breath and maintaining a controlled and balanced breath is part of the yoga practice. However in savasana it is time to let go of that control.

Savasana is a time to relinquish all control and allow everything to be as it is. We do this by letting go of controlling the breath which symbolizes our releasing of control and easing into a place of surrender, which opens the gateway to a deeper letting go.

Often in life we want to have certainty and control over what is going to happen. Certainty and control seem to go hand in hand. If you control every detail, there is an (illusionary) perception that the human need for certainty will prevail.

The fact is, this simply isn’t true.

If you’ve ever had things not go your way, even when you felt you did everything to control the situation, then you’ve experienced that certainty is an illusion.

The only certain thing we can count on is change.

The principle of impermanence—that all things change, is a fundamental lesson of Savasana. This awareness alone actually creates a sense of spaciousness, ease and surrender. There is a comfort in knowing that all things change, and that uncertainty is the one thing we can depend on. This awareness brings with it a sense of freedom and peace that we ultimately crave when we think we are looking for certainty.

Savasana helps us move into this place of surrender as we actively practice letting go— specifically of relinquishing control.

The magic of letting go is you create space which always allows for the new to come in. Letting go also supports the natural flow of life to take course.

Whenever you control something in life, you decrease its life-force.

It’s like cutting off the life-force airway of natural development. Everything in life has a natural course. Certainly we need to take action in life, at the same time we need to actively let go and surrender. This dance of action and surrender is where the magic of inexplicable awesome dream-bliss-filled creation unfolds.

Savasana is the practice of active surrender and in that, the magical experience of Savasana unfolds. It is not uncommon to experience peace, epiphanies or resolutions to problems from the Savasana experience. This is one of the magical, mysterious, and powerful forces that the yoga practice gives us. This experience you receive through Savasana is a benefit and principal that works wonders in daily life.

I’ll give you a few examples.

When you let go of physical clutter in your home, you create space which either feels really good, or create the necessary space for something new to come in.

If you are in a job that is not serving you, and there are better opportunities out there for you, you must let go of the current work to create space for the new to come into your life.

If there is a certain relationship that no longer promotes your joy and growth, by letting go of it, you create space for a more sacred relationship, which will enhance your personal development too.

Anytime in life that you let go, you create space. In that space the new and wonderful has opportunity to grow.

Thus when you create space, be mindful of what new thing you allow into your life. If you let go of one job just to enter an equal unsatisfying one, this does not lead to growth. However, when you consciously let go of one job to intentionally take on a new one that will help you thrive, this is a positive letting go that leads to growth and happiness.

Bear in mind, that when we let go, there is the possibility of accompanying pain. In essence there is a death of something that was familiar, comfortable and steady. Experiencing the end of anything is often challenging, since it challenges us to grow in a new way which can often be confronting, demanding and uncomfortable. But if we consciously choose to bring in something that is for our highest good and growth, we have created an opportunity to learn, expand,and find ourselves in a new way of living and being.

This is why yoga has the power to create massive change in people’s lives—because of this foundational principle of letting go, and creating space for the new.

This is the principle that when employed into your everyday life will create massive growth and new potential for leading a richer life.

And what greater time is there than the start of Fall to start practicing Savasana—(the art of letting go) in daily life?

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Fall represents the time of letting go. We let go of the warm summer, and we bring in the cooler weather, the changing color of the leaves, and the falling away of the leaves to the earth. Physically, nature is releasing, letting go and creating space for the new time to emerge.

Thus, this is a powerful time to align with what nature is doing and actively practice “letting go” in your own life.

Whether or not you practice Savasana through engaging in yoga classes, take this practice beyond, and begin to practice letting go in your life.

Here are three tips to get started:

  1. Spend five minutes brainstorming about things you want to let go of.

It could be as simple of letting go of old papers cluttering your office or something bigger in your life.

  1. Set a specific time where you will devote to the practice of letting go.

It may involve setting aside an hour to clean out a closet, or setting aside a time to have an important meeting with someone.

  1. Take some time to sit in the letting go experience.

Remember, with all letting go, there is an emotional experience that comes with it.

Sometimes the experience feels wonderful immediately, and other times there can be a mix of heartbreak with a deeper sense of freedom and spaciousness, knowing that even though it was painful to let go, you ultimately have made way for a brighter better future to dawn upon you.


Like elephant yoga on Facebook.


Assistant Editor: Gabriela Magana/Ed: Bryonie Wise

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Tova Payne