Lent's terrible gift

Lessons in dying

At the end of every yoga class we practice dying. Our teacher cautions us that the corpse pose, or shavasana, is the most difficult of all yoga postures to master, but for those of us whose legs and arms are trembling from an hour’s exertion in warrior pose, downward-facing dog and cobra, the prospect of relaxing horizontally on one’s yoga mat brings both relief and the impertinent question, “How hard can it be?”

Fascinated, I report to my husband, “Every day at the conclusion of yoga class we practice dying.” “That’s interesting,” he says, trying to share my enthusiasm. “It’s kind of like Lent,” I venture, “except it’s a physical practice, not so much a spiritual one. Lent is when we’re supposed to practice dying, right?”

 

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