01/08/2011 06:16 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017


Mantra: I AM
Exercise: Savasana

I intended to write this blog last week, in light of the Easter Holiday. I felt that the mantra I AM was very fitting for the symbolism of Easter Sunday. In Exodus 3:14, Jesus identified himself as "I AM," perhaps affirming himself as the creator who exists independently of his creation. But, as I had just returned home from a ten-day yoga retreat in Tulum, Mexico, I was living the I AM instead of fulfilling a desire to write about it. Hopefully you felt it, but if not, here it is to read.

Distilled down to the most basic element, I AM is the utmost essence of being. It is the healing and creative power of the Universe. It is the absolute power of who you are. The popular Sanskrit word Om is a form of I AM. There is no desire in I AM, for it is complete. There is no fear in I AM, because it is secure. There is no I AM fan page on Facebook, because it is detached from needing connection or approval. I AM has nothing to advertise because it isn't selling anything. It is void of ornamental or descriptive attachments. It simply is. Pure. Nothing added.

On the other hand, Leela (a Hindi word which means "The Play of Consciousness") is where our human experience comes into colorful form and being. In that realm, we have free will to "be" whatever we choose to create. That is another blog, to be written another day, after the blissful state of post-retreat non-attachment has fully acclimated back to its specific, dynamic and urban existence.


In a traditional hatha yoga class, the final posture is called Savasana. "Sava" means "corpse" in Sanskrit. This posture is the absolute surrender of doing. It is the complete loss of control. It is the utter merging of consciousness with I AM, that which is. As easy as this pose looks, it often still requires consistent practice.

It is essential that the body be as relaxed and "neutral" as possible. Lie on the floor, on your back. Allow your arms and legs to turn out naturally from the shoulders and hips. Soften all of your muscles. Try to lengthen the back of your neck, or rest your head on a pillow, so that your head is not tilting backwards.

Rest the backs of your hands on the floor as close as you comfortably can to your index finger knuckles. Try to rest your shoulder blades evenly on the floor. Then, spread your collarbones.

In addition to calming the physical body in Savasana, it's also necessary to soothe the sense organs. Soften your tongue, your nostrils, your ears, and the skin across your forehead (especially around the bridge of your nose between your eyebrows.) Allow your breath to be natural.

Stay in this pose for 5-15 minutes. To exit, first roll yourself gently onto one side. Take 2 or 3 breaths there. On an exhalation, press your hands against the floor and lift your torso, dragging your head slowly after. The head should always come up last.

Have a day,

"Oy. I am what I am. And that's all that I am." ~Popeye, the Sailorman