The late fall season always feels like a running shavasana to me. Shavasana is a yogi term, coined from a sanskrit word meaning “corpse,” and is the very last thing you do before leaving your mat after a yoga class. The benefit of shavasana (or corpse pose) is to let everything you have just done and felt and experienced in the class absorb into your mind and body.
You lie still, close your eyes and try not to either fall asleep or let your mind frantically race toward everything you need to do the moment class is over.
After what happened last night I feel like I could lay in shavasana for a very, very long time and still never absorb WTF happened.
As you may have guessed, I had a very difficult time with shavasana, when I used to practice yoga. I currently have a hard time with my workout cool downs, which are basically the shavasana of running. I generally operate at one speed – – fast. I like to constantly be on the move both with my mind and body. Stillness terrifies me. Slowing down is difficult. Resting is insanity.
The problem with speeding though workouts (and life) is not absorbing the enormity of what you have just done. If you’re never in the present, how can you enjoy your accomplishment and let it all truly soak in?
Right now, I’m extremely tempted to try and block out all the negativity of who our country just elected to become it’s leader. Right now, I desperately want to skip the part where I have to tell my kids who won the election. For the first time in my life I’m going to struggle with respecting a president of my country and figure out where my pride will come from. Right now, I’m having a very hard time understanding the people I live with in this country and I want to collectively ask “how could you?” and ring the shame bell.
Death: The Ultimate Relaxation
“It is called corpse pose not only because of the position of the body, but also in its ability to prepare you for the ultimate relaxation: death. Far from the macabre coloring death has taken on the western society, in yogic tradition death is the most important moment of life.”
Well, that’s one way to look at it!
If you look at death as “the most important moment of life” it kind of changes everything, doesn’t it? It’s an extreme perspective but perhaps this training and racing offseason calls for extreme measures. Nonetheless, it is something to ponder as you move through today and this week and the month and so on.
Obviously the election has taken a toll on all of us. I have seen and read things I wish I could unsee and unhear and I’m truly devastated about the outcome. Instead of celebrating history I feel as though we are going to repeat the worst parts of it with the most incompetent, bigoted, racist, sexist and ignorant leader.
Worst of all, I have to some how come to terms with the fact it was my fellow Americans who elected him.
It’s in times like this when im most grateful for my running and I feel as though I could run forever today. Unfortunately for me, I have a swim on my schedule because, offseason.
I want to keep in mind that this is the offseason I have worked so hard to be on the other side of. I want to make time to enjoy it and truly put an “off” in my offseason. I’ve earned it.
And, as my most favorite quarterback loves to tell his fans: R-E-L-A-X because this is what happens when you do:
Things are not always what they seem or as bad as they may seem at first. A great piece of advice I was given before running my first marathon was to remember that over 26.2 “things are never as bad or as good as they seem.” It helped. Maybe it will help move me though these next four years.
The purpose of shavasana and a cool down is to absorb the fitness. To literally slow down and let the fitness sink in, to slow the mind and body back down, as you prepare to resume your normal life.
Easing back into reality after a vigorous workout (or a horrendous election result) allows for an adjustment. I know my body and mind will need an adjustment over this next week, and I will take the time make it.
Being still is sometimes the best way to move forward.
Namaste bitches! I’m off to Las Vegas to race the RnR Half Marathon…which is how I relax.
How is everyone doing today?
Do you love or hate cool downs/shavasana?