Pose of the Month – Savasana

Information taken from BKS Iyengar’s “Light on Yoga”

Savasana means ‘corpse pose’. In this asana the object is to imitate a corpse. Once life has departed, the body remains still and no movements are possible. By remaining motionless for some time and keeping the mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax. This conscious relaxation invigorates and refreshes both the body and mind. It is much harder to keep the mind still than the body. Therefore this apparently easy posture is one of the most difficult to master.

Technique:
• Lie flat on your back, keep the hands away from the thighs with the palms facing up.
• Close the eyes. If possible place a cloth (or eyepillow) over the eyes. Keep the heels together and the toes apart.
• Begin by breathing deeply (through the nostrils). No jerky movements should disturb the spine or the body.
• Concentrate on deep and fine exhalations, in which the nostrils do not feel the warmth of the breath.
• The lower jaw should hang loose and not be clenched. The tongue should not be disturbed (Meaning it should not be pressing into the roof of the mouth). The pupils of the eyes should be kept completely passive.
• If the mind wanders, pause without any strain after each slow exhalation.
• Stay in the pose between 15-20 minutes. (Most yoga classes practice Savasana between 5 and 10 minutes. When practicing at home try to find time to practice for at least 10 minutes to gain all benefits).
When the nerves become passive, one feels energy flow from the back of the head towards the heels. One also feels as if the body is elongated.

Benefits:
• Chapter 1, Verse 32 of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika states ‘Lying upon one’s back on the ground at full length like a corpse removes fatigue caused by the other asanas and induces calmness of the mind’.
• Chapter 2, Verse 11 of the Gheranda Samhita states, ‘lying on the ground in Savasana destroys fatigue and quiets the agitation of the mind’
• The mind is the organ of the senses- the Prana or the “breath of life.” Steady, smooth breathing in Savasana is the best antidote to the stresses of modern civilization.

Additional Benefits:
• Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
• Relaxes the body
• Reduces headache and insomnia
• Helps to lower blood pressure

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About EssentialYoga Studio

Roberta has been practicing yoga since 1988 and has been teaching yoga since 1994. She has trained under master yoga teachers Swami Padmananda, Patricia Walden, Manouso Manos, Father Joe Pereira, Zoë Stewart, Karin Stephan, Liz Owen and others. She continues to study with her Iyengar teachers, Patricia Walden and Peentz Dubble. Roberta has studied yoga at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Memorial Institute in Pune, India during June 2011, February 2014 and attended Abhijata's intensive in Pune, India December 2016. Roberta is currently enrolled in Peentz Dubble's two year Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Program. Additionally, Roberta completed training and certification with Elise Browning Miller as 'Yoga for Scoliosis' instructor. She completed a 500 hour Hatha Yoga Certification program with AURA Wellness Center and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500. She has been a Certified Meditation Teacher since June 2007 and has been an Usui Reiki Practitioner since 1989. Roberta's Personal Practice Philosophy: Health issues have changed and deepened my practice. You will see many photos of me using a variety of props. On days I don't feel well, instead of saying, "I can't practice today", Iyengar Yoga has taught me to say, "How can I practice today".
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