Ill kick the “All about the Asanas” section off with the best pose ever & I really don’t like to play favorites. Savasana. Corpse Pose. The pose of the freaking corpse. Yep. Dead man’s asana. Mwaha. Supine anatomical position, guys. Guess what your job is here? To lay on the ground and let go of all of your shit. Let go of muscle engagement, effort in breath. Just surrender to your parasympathetic nervous system, yogis, thats right.
During the “yin postures” of our yoga practice we stretch & release parts of our body creating space. Then during the “yang postures” of practice, we generate heat to move qi & nutrients. At the end of your practice while your sprawled out comfortably in savasana, after the heat has been generated & the space has been made, by fully disengaging your body, you become a vessel for free flowing energy to move to the space it needs to go for repair.
When we engage a muscle, energy will flow to it. Healing energy, yes, but also freshly released stressful energy. During your yin & yang asana practice, avoid sending freshly released stress to other areas of your body by breathing deeply into your posture. In savasana, by fully letting go, we surrender to our parasympathetic nervous system. In doing so, our circulatory system, chakras, & meridians can begin performing uninhibited work to distribute healing energy to places that IT needs to go for nourishment & freshly released toxic energy to where IT need to go for removal.
That’s why we call the parasympathetic nervous system “rest & digest.” Right? Why cant you go swimming or running immediately after a meal? Because you need to sit down and rest in order for your parasympathetic nervous system to turn on & for digestion to begin. If you don’t chillax after eating then your nutrients will miss the train to their desired destination.
Even on the acupuncture table, lying in stillness is key to activating the instruction manuals that exist within such a small energy point in your body.
Our body is an intelligent functioning machine. Its collective goal is to perform one task, homeostatic health, When we learn to support it & provide the right tools, it knows how to do its job. From the ripe age of -9 months, your DNA begins building your perfect version of a human body. During your entire life, your DNA holds those same blueprints. When we disengage & surrender to our physical body’s natural ability to do its job, we are honoring our dna & the natural process of healing.
Are their meditational aspects of savasana? Oh ya. But for now, lets look at understanding the physical aspects of savasana, to be the focal point of THIS meditation. As savasana is indeed an asana, & the asanas exist as a tool to physically prepare our bodies for enlightenment.
Kelly a Bailey
The prep for this practice is pretty simple: Generate energy! Run around your house 10 times, do 5 sun salutation, practice some qi gong, chant, sing, dance, hold pigeon pose for 3 minutes, have sex, eat something healthy, garden, whatev! Make it something that serves you.
Settling into your savasana: first set your timer for 5-15 minutes.
Lay in supine position (our your back) with your legs long in front of you & your arms out naturally beside you. Let your toes naturally fall out wide, & your palms open up. If it is more comfortable, you have the option to place a bolster or pillow under your knees. If you have a blanket, fold it twice so there are 4 layers. Rest your head on the folded blanket so the edge remains free from your shoulders. From here, kind of just squeeze the edges of the blanket closer to your head to create a nest. If the nest makes you feel anything other than relaxed, protected, & loved, then remove it & rest your head on the ground.
Focus on disengaging the muscles in your feet & legs first. Feel the weights of your legs on the ground. Now disengage your trunk. First your lower half (hips, abdomen, lumbar) then your upper (upper back, intercostal muscles, shoulders). Now feel your arms & hands let go. Now your neck & head. Release effort in your breath. Release external thoughts & melt into stillness.
When your timer rings, slowly and mindfully begin observing your space & deepening your breath. Slowly invite some movement into your extremities & neck. Take 5 breaths in fetal position on the right side to begin awakening your yang & your sympathetic nervous systems ability to function. Slowly open your eyes.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Cristina Means Bearden @ The Red Fly Studio