18 August, 2013

This we hold until Savasana...

Today was Gentle Yoga with Elizabeth McElveen.

She often discusses this at the start of class: “The low-belly lock. Once we engage through here, we are making a subtle commitment to hold this throughout the entire practice… until Savasana.”

Those words linger heavily on me every time. I don’t fully understand why, but whenever Elizabeth says this, I am always overcome with strong emotions. I could cry on the spot, even now, reflecting on it. Perhaps it’s something about her tone. Perhaps it is a reading between the lines that I am doing. Or perhaps it is a personal meaning that I have come to automatically attach to it. But what I am hearing is something much greater than holding in my gut, or standing tall. My interpretation is that there is certain work that we must do, on our mats, as well as in our lives, that we can never let go. There is never a time to let go of mindfulness. There is never a time to let go of compassion. There is never a time to let go of acceptance… Until we die… Until final rest…

Until Savasana.

That is the work.

And holding that low-belly lock symbolizes the responsibility we have to ourselves and to our practice to recognize it. These locks are what keep us safe, and what keep us centered, and they are a place to which we are told to repeatedly return focus.

That is the meaning I take from it. Perhaps I have read more into it than was intended. Or perhaps I am rehydrating that which I would have learned if I were to read the right yoga philosophy books, instead having come to the same realization through assimilation on the mat, rather than explicit instruction.

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