Shavasana, or Corpse Pose, is the final resting pose that is practiced at the end of a Yoga class. Many busy Yogis and Yoginis may feel that practicing Shavasana is superfluous and is an easy way to cut out ten minutes at the end of practice. However, it is critically important to rest for at least ten minutes at the end of your asana practice and allow your muscles and ligaments to cool down in optimal alignment. If you rush through the end of your practice and do not dedicate an ample amount of time for Shavasana, your body will most likely cool down back into habitual stress-induced patterns, such as hunched shoulders, a tense neck or a concave heart area.
When you are ready to practice Shavasana, you may wish to put your socks back on, put an additional layer of clothing on for warmth and have a thick blanket nearby to cover yourself if you feel chilled. It is also quite soothing to use an aromatherapy eye bag during Shavasana. The pleasant scent of the aromatherapy herbs will help to calm your nervous system, and the weight of the eye bag will help the delicate muscles around your eyes to relax and rest.
Additionally, using an aromatherapy eye bag will support you in your practice of Pratyahara, or the withdrawal of the senses, during your practice of Corpse Pose. If your lower back is tight, you may wish to put a rolled blanket, or a Yoga bolster, under your knees in order to release any lower back tension. When you are ready, lay back on your Yoga mat with your hands at your sides and your feet comfortably far apart. If you would like to use an eye bag or blanket, place these Yoga props appropriately at this time.
Take five complete breaths to release any lingering stress or tension. Remember to inhale fully and exhale smoothly and completely. Visualize that you are in a very relaxing, safe and healing place. Allow stress to melt off of you as you sink into the support of the earth below you. Just know that for this brief amount of time, there is nothing to do except to sink into the peaceful, calm, deep state of non-doing. Stay in Shavasana for ten minutes or longer – When you are ready to come out of the pose, roll to your right side on your Yoga mat and gently push yourself up to a comfortable seated position.
© Copyright 2014 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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