Lisa Takeuchi Cullen
That's a lie; every pose kicks my sore butt. Awkward pose was never meant to look this awkward. It took me two years of regular practice to even attempt standing head-to-knee. If a pose is easy, I figure I'm doing it wrong. The day I lock my knees will be the day I eat my shorts.
But savasana is hardest of all. It's not just the physical difficulty of emulating a corpse. For me, the Olympic-level hurdle is clearing my mind.
"Empty your thoughts," the teacher says. "Clear your mind and think of nothing but your breath." It's like being told, "Stop thinking about elephants." Now you can't picture anything but.
Savasana is when I make lists. Grocery lists, to-do lists, wish lists. Savasana is NOT when I should make lists. I have to remind myself of this every time.
Savasana, after all, is the one pose I need to master. As a working mom, and moreover as a writer, I desperately need those few minutes of meditation. And when by some small miracle I do achieve it, the results are nothing short of remarkable.
It is during those occasional moments of clarity that a line of dialogue or a solution to a tricky plot problem comes to me. When that happens, it's like I hear a choir of angels. I want to break into a happy dance and shout, "Eureka!" But that would be weird.
Like many of us, I came to Bikram yoga at a tumultuous time in my life. I had just had my second child. I had just quit my longtime career as a journalist and embarked on a new and risky one writing fiction. Both my parents had just died.
That was three and a half years ago. In the time since, yoga has often felt like the only constant in my life. Three times a week for ninety minutes, my foremost focus is staying in the room and not falling on my face. And someday, with practice and no small bit of faith, I'll no longer consider savasana my nemesis but my friend.
Lisa Takeuchi Cullen is the author of Pastors' Wives, a new novel from Penguin/Plume, and The Ordained, a 2013 CBS drama pilot. Previously, she was a staff writer for Time magazine. Please follow her on Facebook, on Twitter @lisacullen, and visit her website atwww.lisacullen.com.