Belly rise, belly fall… What am I going to have for dinner? Belly rise… I can’t believe how much I’m sweating!? I’m pretty sure I’m sweating more than anyone else in the room. Belly rise… I’m a woman – women aren’t supposed to sweat this much! Belly rise, belly fall… I could probably sweat for Team GB – they should sign me up for London 2012… Belly rise, belly – do I need to get some broccoli on the way home? I probably should. And some yoghurt. Belly rise, belly – did I just flick some of my sweat on the teacher? Oh god, I’m pretty sure I did. They must hate me. I am SO ashamed….
This is just a sample of what might be going through my ‘Monkey Mind’ while in Savasana but I reckon you get the idea.
I think I understand why Savasana – Corpse Pose – is described as the easiest posture to get into and possibly the hardest to master. I try not to attach myself to the thoughts that pop into my head and bring my focus back to the breath though often it’s felt like an impossible task. But I noticed a change recently. I don’t know how it happened. The random thoughts still pop up, but less frequently and less forcefully. Now there are glimpses of my mind feeling at peace. It’s hard to explain but it’s like little cracks opening to reveal a welcoming, tranquil space where I feel relaxed yet still very conscious – I catch the briefest sight of a clarity that I don’t know how to put into words… but then it’s gone and I’m thinking about broccoli again, or the things in my life that are currently causing me far greater anxiety than what I might have for dinner. Is this what ‘coming to stillness’ means? Maybe this is something I will come to understand the more I practice. I hope so.
Yet, even amid those random thoughts that won’t be banished, I’m noticing that the feeling which comes from the space behind those little cracks increasingly follows me off the mat and comes with me into the day ahead. Not every day, but enough for me to see how much easier it is to face life’s challenges and put them in perspective. That feels like a gift, especially in these times. And it’s a gift I am incredibly grateful for.