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Savasana of Life

May 17, 2013

Your first question might be what does “Savasana” mean? And you second question is probably What does this have to do with international law? Did she mean to post this on her “lifestyle” blog?

The answer to the first question is; it’s a yoga pose (For a more complete answer see Savasana ). The answer to the second question is; no, stick with me.

Although I usually keep my yoga musings (there are many) to my lifestyle blog (The Prodigal Adventurer), I decided this thought, though yoga-related, is more appropriate here, as part of this journey from corporate law to who-knows-where.

Since returning home from my last international law stint in Ethiopia (see Surprise I’m in Ethiopia!), I have discovered Yoga (A little late, I know, but I’ve been removed from North American culture for a few years).

During my first few weeks of yoga I was a bit perplexed by this one pose: Savasana, otherwise known as the dead body, or corpse, pose. You lie on your back on the mat, legs straight, feet flopped to the side, palms up to the sky – dead body pose.

Don't worry, Sarah's just in Savasana.

Don’t worry, Sarah’s just in Savasana.

The teacher would say; This is the most important pose of your practice. I would think Most important pose? How is this even considered a pose? I didn’t believe it for a second, but I was happy to let them think that while I enjoyed what I saw as my mid-workout rest. I figured I was pulling one over on them so I better keep quiet.

But then one day, the teacher explained that Savasana was crucial because by stopping and just “being” for a while, your body could take in the benefits from the work it did during the other poses. It was a chance for your body to not only rest, but to regroup and reset itself. Only then could you reap the benefits of your hard work.

In the words of the great guru herself (Oprah), that was a major Aha Moment for me.

In that moment I realized, I’m just having a Savasana of life.

In that moment I realized the value of this pause in my career. This pause could be for my life, what the Savasana was for my body (and mind).

Although I’ve been working on my book almost every day I am constantly stressing about the fact that I don’t really have a set plan going forward. Although I write every day I still sometimes feel like I’m not “doing” anything right now. And I feel guilty. Every day.

Maybe I need to just “be” for a while to really reap the benefits of the work I put in to this new path over the past three years in Switzerland, Colombia, and Ethiopia. It was similar to a thought that had been creeping in for some time already; that I am not reaping all the benefits of these experiences because I’ve been rushing like a madwoman from one to the next and not even stopping long enough to think about what just happened. I realized I’ve been zooming from one new country to the next, new organization to the next, new type of law to the next, that I never took stock of what I had just learned or reflect on whether I actually liked these new jobs, let alone stand still long enough to allow any opportunities to come from them.

In that moment, with that one thought, I was able to let go of the guilt (well okay, some of the guilt) and to see the value in this pause. To see this time not as a break from my career, but a necessary part of it. I understood that in able to ensure I make the most out of this path, to not only make the most meaningful contribution possible, but to also actually enjoy my life’s work (a relatively new concept to me) I needed to take this time to just be.

The beautiful ladies of Sat Nam Yoga in their Savasanas this morning.

The beautiful ladies of Sat Nam Yoga in their Savasanas this morning.


P.S. If you would like to read more of my writing on yoga check out To Om and Beyond , Paddling in Paradise , or my personal favourite, Angry Yoga People .

P.P.S. For more of my adventures in international law stayed tuned for new posts coming soon (in the meantime, feel free to check my archives (see “Archives” column on the right)!

Gratuitous yoga pic. Thanks for the photos ladies!

Gratuitous yoga pic. Thanks for the photos ladies!

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