Today life is fast-paced, nights are shorter and for many, work spills over to the weekend. Many of us work against our biological clock, trying to achieve goals, fulfill ambitions and continuously pushing ourselves to perform better.
No wonder then that the urban lifestyle is inundated with stress and health problems that require us to pull the strings and take a break. Since few of us can afford the luxury of elaborate an fitness regime, Yoga offers a holistic approach to managing physical and emotional wellness, synchronizing a positive flow of energy within and around.
For the uninitiated, Shavasana or the Corpse pose can be a great start to experiencing a magical transformation through Yoga.
What is Shavasana?
The literal meaning of “Shava” is Corpse, and “Asana” means pose. When I speak about my experience with Shavasana, it often surprises people how rejuvenated one can feel after allowing themselves to relax and enjoy ‘nothingness’. For a few moments you lie still, in a lifeless posture, but completely aware of the “Prana Vayu” flowing in and out of your body. Shavasana is indeed purely magical.
- It lets you enjoy your share of inner peace amidst all external stress.
- It gives you the freedom to liberate yourself.
- It allows you to sink yourself in stillness with complete awareness.
- It rejuvenates the cells of your body and restores life.
Although Shavasana seems to be simple, it is intricate to perform as simply lying down straight does not help. You need to synchronize your breathing with focused awareness. You are completely relaxed but conscious of each breath coming into and leaving your body.
To enjoy the benefits of Shavasana, let your mind shed all thoughts, follow the rhythms of your breath and let each cell in your body restore the energy to battle life’s little challenges.
What you need
A yoga mat, a bolster, and a calm place where you can enjoy your own company.
When is the right time to practise Shavasana?
- After a very tiring day.
- After a session of dynamic exercises or asanas, or
- Just before you sleep.
Why should you do it?
- To relax the whole psycho-physiological system.
- To develop body and mind awareness, thereby increasing your mental and physical energy levels along with the power of concentration by having a deeper sound sleep.
- To reduce heart rate and anxiety levels.
- To release tension from the deepest levels of muscles.
- It is known to be beneficial in managing certain neurological problems, asthma, diabetes, indigestion and insomnia.
- It supports hormonal balance.
- It is helpful in Sciatica, high blood pressure and back pain.
Who can do Shavasana?
People of all age groups can perform this asana. The ones bouncing physically in their crazy calendar’s court, the ones who are 24/7 mentally and intellectually occupied and the ones who are emotionally and socially engaged in myriad activities are advised to practice it daily to maintain work life balance.
Pregnant women and those suffering from back pain, depression and low blood pressure need to be watchful and strictly perform under the guidance of a Yoga expert.
How to do Shavasana
This asana can be practiced from 8-10 minutes every day as per your comfort. Here are the steps:
- Lie flat on your back with your arms about 15 cm away from the body, palms facing upwards. Let the fingers curl up a little.
- You can use the bolster under your knees or to rest your calves for even more comfort while lying down.
- Relax your arms and legs, allowing yourself into a comfortable position, and slowly close your eyes.
- The head and spine should be aligned. Feel the earth receiving you gently.
- Stop all physical movements. Feel your abdominal movements. Observe the movements of abdominal muscles moving up and down as you breathe in and out normally. Observe 5 cycles.
- Synchronize the abdominal movements with deep breathing. The abdomen should protrude when inhaling and sink when you exhale. Observe 5 cycles.
- With every inhalation, imagine every cell of your body receiving fresh oxygen. Let all the stress, negative thoughts and anxiety escape with deep exhalation.
- Imagine yourself wandering in the infinite sky, liberated from all the worldly chains.
- As you inhale deeply and slowly, energize your body and feel the lightness. As you exhale completely collapse all the muscles, release the tension and enjoy the relaxation.
- Chant ‘AAA’ in a low pitch while exhaling. Feel the vibrations in the lower body.
- After some time, become aware of your body and surroundings. Gently move your fingers, toes and legs. Come into the sitting position with your eyes closed. Open your eyes slowly.
Feel the magic of being reborn after practicing Shavasana and enjoy the vibrant colors of a rejuvenated and renewed life. If you really open yourself to receiving the goodness of this pose, you will be able to listen to the sound of your soul; you will find yourself in a state of tranquil awareness on physical, mental, emotional and intellectual levels. It is a state of complete bliss.
My mantra: “Practice more to explore more “. Do share your yogic experiences or any queries in the comments below.