Saturday, February 22, 2014 —
If you have never practiced yoga, this might be difficult to understand, but Savasana, or corpse pose, is known to be the most difficult of all the postures. If you have practiced yoga, you are probably shaking your head in agreement. In this asana, you simply lie on your back allowing all tension to leave your body and continuously trying to create spaces in your mind that are not filled with random thoughts, memories or plans.
It definitely sounds and looks easy, but clearing out the mind is one of the most difficult tasks for humans. People will often tell me that they have a hard time in Meditation or Savasana because they are the type who thinks a lot. The fact is, most people do think a lot and none of us are alone in this. It is what our minds were created to do. But the physical and mental benefits of turning off the mind and creating space between your thoughts are endless and definitely worth giving a daily try.
Our modern culture has us thinking that we should be working and accomplishing something until we fall asleep at night.
Doctors and health professionals stress getting the proper amount of sleep at night and we are sucked into believing that is the only relaxation we need. To be truly at peace with yourself and your life, you must learn how to relax and find stillness while awake and alert.
If you find yourself falling asleep in a five to 10 minute Savasana, this is a good indicator that you are not getting enough sleep or rest. If you find that you cannot be still for five to 10 minutes and you anticipate the ending of the pose, this may mean you are not dealing with or accepting some truths in your life. But this pose is like all the others: the more you practice it, the easier it will become.
There are T-shirts that say “I’m Just Here for Savasana” because it is so amazingly relaxing and blissful. For a yogi, it can be very similar to the high people achieve after a run. The only catch is that you can only experience this bliss of Savasana after a yoga practice. Once you have started experiencing this deep feeling of relaxation, the hard work before it will seem very worth it.
Try to practice this pose at the end of your time on the mat as a way to seal your practice and feel the openings you create for your energy to flow. Jumping up after yoga without this pose is like leaving the table after swallowing the last bite of a deliciously prepared meal that you just shared with your loved ones. Savor how you feel.
To practice, simply lie on your back with your legs flopped open and your arms resting by your sides with your palms up. I like my legs and arms to be more open, but some like them close to the body. It takes me a little wiggling before I can be still so that I can find the weight in my head and sacrum that allows me to relax. Close your eyes and scan your body for any tension that may be holding on. Once your body is relaxed, then notice your breath beginning to soften and return to normal, effortless breath flowing in and out of the nose.
Finally, acknowledge each and every thought that goes through your head without any attachment to it or judgment about it, and then let it go. Continue to do this until it is time to wake the body, usually around five minutes for every hour of practice. Let your relaxation linger with you when you leave your mat and enjoy a happier and more peaceful life.
Cindy Brewer, E-RYT, is a certified yoga and pilates teacher and the owner of Albemarle Pilates and Yoga. For information, go to www.albemarlepilatesandyoga.com.