The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing

The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing

The Write Spot: Writing as a Path to Healing is a collection of a wide variety of stories and includes an extensive resource section with information on how to write about difficult topics without add trauma.


Shavasana by Karen Handyside Ely


I lie flat on my back. Dewy in yoga sweat. Flushed and giddy after strenuous twisting and turning and stretching my limits. Shavasana, corpse pose, is the final pose of my yoga class. I close my eyes, relax my muscles, and travel inward. For most practitioners, it’s the cool sip of water at the finish line, a time for deep restoration; but not for me. Since my father died, Shavasana has become something else.

Maybe it’s the music that Dr. Helaine, our yoga therapist, plays as we settle in, supine, with our eyes closed. It is nebulous and transcendent, gloriously mysterious, with no real rhythm. The frequency resonates within me, connecting me to the universe. It wraps around me like a velvet, indigo blanket studded with diamonds. It carries me up and away, I am swimming in stars, filled with wonder. I am enveloped in lines of the galaxy’s cold code, written in the luminous night sky.

And I am not me. I am my dad, floating in space, being granted his greatest heart’s desire (second only to his wish to share eternity with my mom). I am a piece of the sky. I am free without falling; one with the cosmos; at peace and entwined with all that is. An indescribable contentment fills every cell of my weightless body. I have come home.

In yoga class, our practice comes to a tender end. I am still on my back, as tears squeeze from the corners my eyes. They leave a cold code of their own, sliding down the edges of my face and pooling in my ears. How can this place inside me be both painful and so very comforting? I am left to wonder in gratitude, and awash in sorrow. My Shavasana is such a bittersweet release. It is not a respite for me, but a necessary facet for my grieving process; at least for now. It leaves me aching for more understanding and acceptance. But it also lights the path for me, offering a way to move forward with grace. It shows me the way home. Namaste.

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Lighting the path for reflection
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