Last night I absolutely had no choice but to sleep early. I could not keep my eyes open. Only it was only 7:30pm… Surely if I went to sleep at that time I would wake up in the middle of the night…
If I were to select a yoga posture that relates to the winter solstice it would be savasana, corpse pose. In savasana, practiced in a state that is not quite sleeping, that is not quite awake, we surrender. We surrender the effort of the body, the control of the breath, and simply allow for the freedom of our natural state to flow and re-organize itself somewhere between the conscious and the unconscious state.
Savasana is a pose of integration. A death and a rebirth. In our asana practice we open things up, let things go, and then we surrender. When practiced in silence with the focus on the breath and the prana in the body, our practice exposes the naked truth of the habits of our mind to us so clearly. As we find ourselves aware of the expansive nature of our self, connected to all that is, we are able to witness the tiny and noisy nature of the mind. In Savasana, we float in the natural meditative state that arises as a result of the asana. In this state, our essence re-aligns itself with our physical body, attachments and aversions fall away, and any great shifts are re-ordered in our being. Passing thoughts float by the in the expansive mind, and we simply let them go. In this practice of savasana, we allow for the openness of the present moment, just as it is, to be. It is like being re-born. Dying in corpse pose, to be re-born.
This is found when we can go inside and get quiet. This dark quiet, so like wintertime itself, is where we can find our fears, our irritations, our desires… where we can hear most clearly the chatter of a busy mind. If we simply sit, bundled in our blankets, layered in our clothes, in the dark of winter, like savasana, and be a witness to this mind, we are positioned to release all that we do not need, all that separates ourselves from the source of love that dwells within each of us… And like the stars on solstice night, the light begins to show itself in the darkness…
As the days will grow longer, so we can sit in the stillness and the quiet and awaken to the light in our being. The seeds we have planted for our life, lain dormant in this time of winter, are set to awaken. Releasing into savasana, waking up to the light, we can birth this solstice moment to reflect on those seeds that we will nourish, on the seeds of an abundant and peaceful world and life. These can grow into this new time as the light emerges.
This pause of the sun in relation to our earth is much like the pause at the the bottom of the breath… sit in it, connect to our true selves, our source material, the massive expansiveness that is the truth of our being… and let go. As Marc often says, “Love everything… Do nothing.”
I did wake up… at 1:30am. A glass of water, a moonbath, and then back to sleep on the longest night. To integrate, to release, and to nourish the seeds planted for a beautiful existence. Not by any action, but rather by surrendering to the pose. I woke up on this solstice, refreshed, renewed, and reborn again.
Letting the light grow, moving from stillness, we begin again… now.