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Shavasana.  शवासन. Corpse pose.

For people who are new to yoga, shavasana means exactly as it sounds: shahhh-vahhh-sahhhh-nahhhh.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. It’s the final resting posture after a series of more active poses where the body can soak up all the benefits of its previous exertions. After semesters jammed with 26 credit hours and countless times screaming “I quit” to my poor puppy after waitressing all night, the upcoming year will mean just that.

The hard work, rewarding in its own way, has paved the way for an autumn in Italy, a spring in Samoa/Fiji, and a summer in Rwanda. As much as I’d like to stray away from the “Eat, Pray, Love” perspective, I can’t help but see how perfectly Elizabeth Gilbert’s Italy fits into the philosophy of shavasana. As her friend Luca Spaghetti says, “[Italians] are the masters of il bel far niente.” –An exquisite phrase meaning “the beauty of doing nothing.”

As in Shavasana, one must be able to DO nothing; yes, relaxation requires conscious effort. After all, one must decide among gelato flavors, direct their feet towards the park, kiss the beautiful foreign men, and surrender to the divine. Follow me as I experience the city of Roma/Amor looking always for conscious ways to relax deeper into its surroundings, receive its life lessons with a smile, recognize Jesus in everyone I meet, and stuff every ounce of my being with gelato, wine, pastries, cappuccinos, pasta, and soccermatches/menonmopeds/museums/baci/etc.

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