When the life force leaves the body

Some say that the most important and healing yoga posture of all is Shavasana (corpse pose.) One lies flat on their back with the palms turned upwards and the legs apart. Usually it is integrated with a guided relaxation meditation (Yoga Nidra) where you systematically scan the body and the muscles for tension. You release and relax. The result is not only physical relaxation but also mental and emotional relaxation.

Lying still drove me bananas when I first started yoga. However once I became familiar with and then embraced Yoga Nidra, I discovered that I appreciated it’s value. Each time I practiced it I found healing, rest, clarity and a connection to deep quiet and wisdom within.

Several months after my late husband, Mick, died, I went to a Yoga Nidra class looking forward to a grounding and soothing experience. Instead, I found it confronting and deeply upsetting.  As I lay down in Shavasana (corpse pose) all I could think of was Mick’s still body in his last few weeks, bedridden.  And then of his body with out life once he had passed. It was all too much for me. I stood up after just a few minutes and left. I raced to the beach where there was energy pulsing everywhere. Movement, light, life.

I felt safe walking along the water’s edge with my feet enjoying the sensations of the sand and the waves, my skin relishing the embrace of the breeze and sun. I was able to let the memories of Mick’s last few weeks re-enter my mind. I sat next to Mick as he drifted in out of sleep and consciousness whenever I could. He never spoke. Occasionally he would twitch or shift an arm or a hand. Sometimes I would hold his hand. Mostly not. I would watch and listen to him breathe. Could he hear me? Did he know I was next to him? Was I providing him with comfort? We were next to each other but I felt so much distance.

I shared these questions and discussed these thoughts with my counsellor. I felt closer to Mick and more connected to him when driving the car glancing at clouds, playing with our children or admiring the autumn leaves, She shared an idea that perhaps his life force (or some would say his soul or his spirit) was slowly detaching from his body,  reconnecting to the universal life force everywhere? This resonated with my experience and provided me with comfort.

When people die, when they take their last breath, people often say “He is gone”. “He has left.”

But where to? Our children regularly ask me questions about where Mick has gone. What happens after death?

What I say is this.

He is gone but he is still here. In different ways.

“Energy can not be created or destroyed. It can only be transferred from one form to another.” Albert Einstein

Mick’s energy and love, and my love for him is in my heart. But not only mine. I see Mick in all the people who loved him. Our children, his parents and our friends.

I often think of Mick when I take a moment in the outdoors to be present and enjoy life buzzing around me. I remember Mick when we see rainbows. (On the day of Mick’s funeral and other special dates, many of us saw beautiful rainbows.)

After that upsetting class, I returned to Yoga Nidra. I still regularly practice it several days a week. I feel and acknowledge the life force within me.

Whenever I meditate, am fully present in a moment or take time out for quiet solitude, I feel connected at a deeper level to everyone I love and to life. Connected at a level beyond words and emotions, at an energetic level.

Love is energy and life. Energy is everywhere. That is what I tell my children.



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