Savasana - Corpse Pose
SavasanaThe asana is pronounced as Shuh-vah-sana
This pose gets its name from the recumbent posture of a dead body "corpse pose". It is a position of rest and relaxation, and is usually practiced at the beginning and the end of a yoga session – a session that typically begins with focusing on the breath awareness and ends in rest; a space or pause when deep healing can take place.
While corpse pose may not be physically challenging, many teachers call it the most important pose of class because it allows the mind and body to integrate the benefits of yoga.
MIND AND BODY CONNECTION
Mind and body are related. So when your body relaxes so does the mind and vice versa.
Before the body can relax it often needs to move, that is where the asanas come in. After the body is worked out, stretched and opened, the body is more than happy to let go. Compare it to a child, a child is also happier to relax after it’s burned away its nervous energy.
Of course the opposite can also be true sometimes, when a body is wired, it can be so tired it doesn’t know how to let go anymore. Giving it help through yin yoga and restorative poses can bring the body back to a state of equilibrium so it can let go again. Then the mind will also let go of the wired state.
1. Stress relief. The body holds stress in the form of muscle contraction, or tension. Whether the source is emotional, intellectual, or physical, the result is the same. Stress is linked to many health problems, and learning to release tension is a valuable practice. As you lay on your back in Savasana, allow your muscles to melt into the floor. Let your bones feel heavy. Let your body and mind relax, releasing any stress you’re carrying.
2. Self acceptance. After working in class to improve form, balance, strength, and flexibility... surrender. In corpse pose there is no striving, no struggle. Allow your mind to take a break from planning the future or reviewing the past. Surrender to the present moment. It takes practice to accept yourself just as you are.
3. Experiencing peace. When we release tension and surrender to the moment, we can experience peace. Daily life is filled with so much busy-ness that it’s easy to forget what peace feels like. Corpse pose is an invitation to slow down and be peaceful.
4. Connecting with your breath. Laying on the floor, let your belly soften and feel your lungs inspire themselves. Breathing is something we easily take for granted. In Savasana, notice how effortless and delicious each breath is. Enjoy it.
5. Making friends with death. Take a few minutes to rest in peace. Even though death is universal and natural, it can be an uncomfortable topic because it is often associated with pain, fear, and loss. Yet, Savasana is peaceful and unintimidating. It feels good. In Corpse pose we embody peace as we acknowledge our own mortality.
Coming out of Savasana feels like coming back to life. As you deepen your breath and slowly resume the pace of every-day life, notice how good it feels to be alive.
- Relaxes your central nervous system and calms your mind
- Helps relieve stress
- Relaxes your body
- Decreases beta brain waves and shifts to slower brain waves
- Reduces insomnia and helps improve your sleep
- Reduces headache and fatigue
- Helps relieve depression
- Lower back problems or back injury
- Pregnancy (after 3 months) take fetal position instead
- If lying with lengthened legs causes discomfort in your lower back, rest with your knees more bent by placing a pillow or bolster under the knees.
- Place a thin pillow under your head to slightly elevate the skull to help elongate your neck. Keep a natural posture in your neck, therefore the head should not be too high.
- Cover your body with a blanket to stay warm.
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