Shavasana is that which comes at the end of an asana practice. It is the five-ten minutes or more of bliss where you get to let go of every effort and sink into your mat. The benefits of the entire preceding session gather together in this practice of Sukha.
I cannot underline the importance of this enough, dear reader and when someone has to leave for someplace and has to miss out the Shavasana it is a pity.
The name itself is Shava+ asana and it has been translated into English as the Corpse pose. Now as translations go sometimes, the essence of the word is lost. That is the case here.
Lack of the Shiva element in the body makes the body a Shava.
Why is this immensely relaxing time on the mat called Shavasana then you may ask.
To my understanding, a Shava lacking in Shiva ( life/breath) loses all control over itself and gives itself up fully to the elements. Pliable and pulled down by gravity, when we see a person's mortal remains, they can seem to be immensely relaxed. The need for effort, frenzy, passions everything has fled.
This is quite close to the state we let ourselves achieve of our own volition, when we lie down in shavasana.
We need to lie down symmetrically for energy to circulate without stops. The legs stretched out, heels sinking into the floor, the toes need to fall outwards loosely. The arms need to be spread slightly away from the body so there is air between the armpits and upper arms and turn your palms upwards.
After this run a mental check down the underside of the body and check that the portions touching the mat are sinking into the mat loosely.
Now get this mental check into the body, starting with the feet. Run your mental glance thorugh every part of the skin, muscle, sinew, ligament, nerve, vein, bone and the marrow within. As you do this allow each bit to get loose and heavy- sinking towards the mat even more fully.
Once you get to the face, let the jaws drop open and enjoy the feeling of each jaw relaxing and getting heavy. The skin of the face and scalp loosing its taut-ness, allow the eyeballs and brain to sink towards the back of the body.
Watch the breath enter and leave for a bit.
Finally let go of every effort and enjoy this state for a while.
When you have to get up, very slowly roll to the side and lay there allowing yourself to sink into the mat side-ways. Come up to sitting very slowly with the help of the elbows and hands. Let the eyes stay closed and allow yourself to come out of shavasana, initially by wiggling finger and toes and then join your palms at your heart centre for 3 Om- chants or anything else that you would like to chant.
Open your palms now dear reader and carress the face, neck and entire body.
Carry this rejuvenation with you through the day :)
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