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Śhavāsana – Quiet the Mind and the Body

Śhavāsana pronounced as Shuh-vah-sana, is a much-overlooked asana. It’s tempting to go straight into our asana practices, meditation or Pranayamas. However, Shavasana brings terrific benefits on all levels.

Shavasana (corpse pose) is one of the most challenging asanas in yoga practice. At a physical level, Shavasana is simple; lie down on your back and close your eyes, but the hard part is to remain alert and aware while the body is relaxed. Many beginners struggle with Shavasana, some of the reasons are, falling asleep or getting caught with their thoughts, which forbids clarity and blocks relaxation to sink in.

Ancient rishis compared the human mind to a ‘crazy monkey’, as a crazy monkey is busy jumping from one branch to the other, our mind is crazily jumping from one thought to the other. Shavasana helps to integrate the body and the mind. At this point, we need to focus on our breath and let the thoughts come and go, no judgments, not following or getting caught up with our thoughts.

Benefits:

§ We take breathing as a function of our automatic nervous system. Shavasana teaches us to control our breath, helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system by taking long, deep and gentle breaths. Our parasympathetic nervous system is our natural relaxation mode. Shavasana is a time of rest, but not a time of sleep.

  • Shavasana helps us to reconnect with ourselves, switch off from our daily activities and just reflect within. Take the time to release any stress and completely melt into Mother Earth.

  • Shavasana provides us with the time to calm down and relax. Observe those peaceful moments of quiet between thoughts. With practice, these moments will get longer, and you’ll find more inner peace.

  • Shavasana is a form of meditation and an ultimate act of conscious surrender. It takes practice and patience.

Steps:

  • Lie down on your back.

  • Allow your legs to separate with your feet at about a hip-distance, toes facing to the sides.

  • Arms beside your body, palms facing up, fingers naturally curled.

  • Scan different body parts one by one, slowly relax your entire body. Drop all sense of hurry or urgency or any need to attend to anything else.

  • Keep breathing slowly, gently, and deeply and allow your breath to relax you more and more.

  • Lie in Shavasana for 10-15 minutes.

  • To exit the asana, slowly roll onto your left side. Lie in that position for a minute or so.

  • Gently sit up into a seated pose such as Sukhasana (cross-legged). Slowly and gently open your eyes.

Option to roll up a blanket and place underneath your knees. The more comfortable you are, the more you can relax. This asana helps us to enjoy the moment of clarity and stillness in our minds.

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