A Challenge For Your Mind, But Vital For Your Health
“We will be more successful in all our endeavors if we can let go of the habit of running all the time, and take little pauses to relax and re-center ourselves. And we’ll also have a lot more joy in living.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the simple sounding, end of yoga practice, pose Savasana (aka corpse pose). Often it’s difficult to take a simple cue to lie down, switch off and silence the perpetual mind chatter. In today’s modern world we’re constantly bombarded with stimuli 24/7 – from the Internet, to television and our smartphones. In an over-stimulated world, with an overactive mind, we’re often in a state of “fight-or-flight” and constantly using energy. This ultimately brings upon stress, fatigue and the inability to function at our optimal health. Which is why it’s even more important to balance our energy and busy lifestyle. Savasana can sometimes be a challenge for your mind but it’s absolutely vital for your physical and spiritual health.
Our autonomic nervous system (ANS) is either in the sympathetic system (fight-or-flight) or in the parasympathetic system (rest and digest). The ANS regulates the functions of our internal organs such as the heart, stomach and intestines. In “fight-or-flight” your blood pressure increases, your heart beats faster, and digestion slows down. Deep relaxation such as Savasana helps to conserve energy, allowing your body to “rest and digest”. The parasympathetic system allows your blood pressure to decrease, so that your heart rate can slow and digestion can start.
Whether you’re at the end of a yoga class or you’ve never done yoga before with just five to ten minutes to spare, here are my top five tips to completely relax in Savasana – healing your body, mind and heart:
1. Roll out. Lie down on your yoga mat and get comfortable. Feel free to use as many or as little props – an eye pillow, a bolster under your knees, or a blanket to keep you comfy, cozy. With arms by your side bring your palms to face the sky.
2. Exhale everything. Inhale, shrug your shoulders to your ears and hold a few breaths. Open your mouth, exhale out any residual tension, and soften your shoulders onto your mat. Repeat two more times.
3. Drop in. Allow your tongue to rest against the palette of your mouth. Slightly parting your lips, allow your jaw to fully decompress and soften. Let your eyes sink behind your head. Drop into this space and relax.
4. Count down. With each inhale and exhale start to count down from ten all the way down to zero. It helps to count down silently to yourself at the end of each exhalation.
5. Just be. Each day your body will feel different. Allow yourself to simply be present and surrender into the moment, without any judgment. Feel yourself safe and supported by the earth below you and held by the universe around you.
As always, I’d love connecting with you and hear how you get your zen on in Savasana. Head over to the comments section below to share your thoughts.
With love and gratitude,