Savasana and a Shraddhanjali

Practice began with savasana today after my morning reading. It led to thinking about seeking versus searching. Seeking implies a quest for an unknown answer while searching inherently assumes that the object is known and one cannot find it. What is it we seek? Life.

On that note, I lay down in the pose of the corpse. Somehow, there seemed to be an urgency to quieten the mind. The body slowly surrendered to the ground and the mind opened into the universe. It exists, in savasana, the entire universe exists in all its infinity. I had a glimpse of its endless movement and stillness, a perpetual cycle of creation and destruction being played on an unchanging screen. The irony of waking up to life in savasana was not lost.

It was a different kind of practice, unusual and prodded by a growing sense that perhaps what is needed is an extended period of restorative poses. And savasana has been calling, softly but insistently. I’ve been poring over the pages in the books on the asana. Life really is nothing but a preparation for death…

Update: I came back from the Shraddhanjali for Geetaji this evening feeling that all is as it should be. The grief is receding and a renewed vigour has been ignited.

Prashantji spoke about Geetaji’s lifetime being one single situation, Abhijata spoke about her one continuous thread of yoga, Iyengar yoga and Guruji. Her commitment, sacrifice, implicit faith in Guruji’s words, her love, devotion and reverence for her father were some of the facets that all those who spoke about shared. For me, I think of her as being ‘childlike’. It’s a quality I associate with Guruji too, a nakedness without shame. Perhaps that is the honesty that Abhijata highlighted.

We are lucky to have volumes of her work to fall back on. Thanks to the age in which we live, we can listen to her voice and see her.

As for her, I like to imagine that she climbed those steps in her dream to be with her beloved Guruji.

4 thoughts on “Savasana and a Shraddhanjali

  1. Thank you Sonia. I was teaching the other day and made reference to the “skirt of the foot” which is that Geetaji termed the outer edge. I became immensely sad when I acknowledged internally that this came from her (although I did not show my students). I feel a lot of what she taught is deep into the fabric of my training. That fabric is dense with her intelligence. I am mourning her as a teach these points, hoping that the grief will not consume me and that I can in some way honor what she was trying to convey in her teachings. I am glad you are in Pune and able to be a direct part of the RIMYI community during this time.

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    1. She left behind so much, so generously. Abhijata’s talk was almost a lament at the loss of a teacher par excellence, one who dedicated her life to being a teacher in its highest sense. Be it her strictness, her seeming harshness or demanding nature, the disregard for any niceties if it came between teaching and learning. She shared anecdotes of how the entire class would be stalled if one student didn’t get the experience she wanted the person to experience. While I felt her loss intensely the first week, somehow practising regularly and reading her works and Guruji’s words which she had ‘implicit faith’ in as Prashantji said has been a way forward. It feels a bit achy when I look back at the last six months. One of the hardest periods in my life and I couldn’t be part of much at RIMYI or attend some of her sessions.

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