Tuesday, September 3, 2013

In Rhythms Yoga: Invaluable Pose!

Do you know the most important yoga pose? In Savasana, Corpse Pose, we surrender into stillness with a conscious awareness in the present moment. Corpse pose may be harder than you think and it does take practice. It has the potential to add years to your life, through a conscious effort of total relaxation.

Savasana or Corpse Pose is frequently practiced at the end of a yoga session and sometimes even at the very beginning. Corpse Pose allows us to “fine-tune” our yoga practice in order to “soak-up” and absorb the preceding posture.

To find relaxation in corpse pose:
1. Find a quiet space while laying on a yoga mat, blanket, carpet, sand, or grass.
2. Lay flat on the back with the feet splayed open wide and the palms resting towards the sky. This hand gesture represents being open and receptive to whatever may come up in this pose.
3.  Option to place blankets or a bolster under the knees for low-back strain or to even elevate the feet on a chair.  Option to put a blanket or block under the head for comfort.

4. Release the shoulder blades down towards the earth and expand through the heart and chest. Notice that the heart is opened and exposed.
5. Relax the entire body, releasing tension in the jaws. Allow the eyes to fall deep into their sockets, and even release the tongue from the roof of the mouth.
6. Release any control over the breath, and if the mind wants to wander, follow the breath moving up and down the spine. Envision the breath has a color, and watch the color as it moves from the crown of the head, down the throat and into your heart space, moving down the spine and into the limbs, and finally touching the tips of the toes.

To come out of savasana, begin to slowly deepen the breath. Notice that as you deepen the breath, you can make bigger movements within the body. Begin to wiggle the finger and the toes. Graze the thumb to touch each finger, reconnect with sensation in the body. Reach the arms over the head and reach in opposite directions. Bring one knee in towards the chest, followed by the other. Roll to the right or left side of the body and pause. Slowly make your way to a seat, legs crossed, sitting tall. Bring your hands to heart center and thank yourself for taking the time to rejuvenate your body, mind and spirit.

Softening into corpse pose is practicing conscious stillness while awake. How often do you completely relax, without being asleep? Reap the benefits of calming the mind and slowing down the heart rate.  Find stress and tension release and come to a peaceful state, while potentially adding years and quality to your life.

We can also surrender into savasana in order to meditate and find stillness, bringing restoration to the body and mind. Systematically, we warm and tire the body by doing postures, or asana practice, in order to meditate and rest the mind. Essential qualities to bring into the pose are relaxing into stillness, releasing control of the breath, and making an effort to keep the mind present.

Corpse pose can be a favorite or even least favorite posture. It may resemble taking a Sunday afternoon cat-nap, although, corpse pose takes effort to keep the mind from drifting and in order to keep the body from moving and fidgeting. Allowing the body to feel heavy and following the breath with background music or while listening to the sound of waves, in order to clear the mind from distraction and come back to a place of happiness.

Check with your doctor before performing any form of exercise including yoga. Always honor your body. If a posture gives you pain, gently come out.

Christi Iacono
In Rhythms Yoga- Contact christi@inrhythmsyoga.com for more info. Go to www.inrhythmsyoga.com for class schedule and privates.

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