For most of us our minds are cluttered with thoughts and “to do” lists. Instead of resting when we feel tired we reach for caffeine found in sodas and coffee to perk us up. I too am a “doer”, and when I first started taking yoga classes I found that during the final relaxation known as “savasana” or corpse pose I felt anxious because it was hard for me to lay still and clear my mind.
Everything changed when one day I realized that I wasn’t giving myself permission to relax. Once I embraced savasana, I welcomed the ten minutes to relax my muscles, mind and spirit. Once my thoughts drifted away like clouds, I would awaken from this meditative state feeling restored, with a sense of peace, calm and inner knowing.
Now that I have been a yoga teacher for ten years I see many benefits of savasana for my students. Not only does it relax your body, mind and spirit, it also offers the opportunity to be present which brings joy. You too can experience the healing powers of savasana**- when you let go of thought and allow yourself to relax you too will soon experience peace, calm, and joy which will carry over into everyone you interact with.
**Seven Steps to Restore Your Mind, Body, & Spirit with Savasana:
Step one- Set the mood. Light fragrant candles, and play soothing music that may evoke emotion.
Step two- Lay on your back with your hands a few inches from your hips, palm up. Get comfortable, perhaps place a rolled up blanket under your knees and or head.
Step three- Inhale fully and as you exhale imagine relaxation spreading over your entire body. Resume your natural breath.
Step four- Notice your natural breath. As you inhale your body rises up, and as you exhale your body sinks towards the earth.
Step five- As you inhale say to yourself “peace” and as you exhale “calm”. Repeat several times.
Step six- Be present with your breath, the music, the scent. If your mind starts to wander bring it back to your breath and repeat: inhale- peace, exhale- calm.
Step seven- When the song has ended, wiggle your fingers and toes and bring your awareness back into the space. Slowly roll over onto your right side. Use your arm as a pillow. Notice how relaxed you feel. Breathe in the feeling of peace and calm.