One Approach to Shavasana
March 31, 2016
March 31, 2016
Yoga + Prayer: One Approach to Shavasana
How many times do you lay down at night and start to pray and then wake up the next morning wondering if you ever made it to “Amen.”? When I start to pray, I typically begin with Dear Lord, thank you for…. And then list out everything I’m thankful for in my life, but without fail somewhere in the thank you’s my mind starts to drift. I replay a situation in my head that happened earlier in the day or week. I think of everything I need to do the next day or start worrying about certain situations typically out of my control (which 100% of the time, it most likely is). I think that it’s very normal to day dream in prayer. Thoughts lead to other non-important thoughts, thankfulness leads to thinking about how great something went that day, Asking God to change something you don’t like in your life can lead to worry and fear. It’s extremely normal to get off track and then doze off before saying Amen. What I have learned from yoga is that at the end of my practice, my mind is quiet, it is still. I am so ready to talk with God. I have the time and comfort of knowing I don’t have to get up, I can talk with Him and my mind is ready to listen. Shavasana is known as one of the best poses in yoga, because you get to lay there, rest, and maybe doze off (who doesn’t love a nap!?) You get to re-group, soak the class all in, genuinely let go. For me, this is my favorite pose not only for all of those reasons but also because it is my prayer time. I can think clearly, I don’t have too much fogging up my mind. I don’t have to go let the dog out, or go brush my teeth. I get to have that alone time with my thoughts and God and it is special. I hope that if you haven’t already, to start trying to talk with God during your Shavasana. It has really helped me in my journey with getting closer to Him and I hope it can help you too.
Namaste & God’s Peace be with you ☺
So, what is Shavasana? Shavasana is pronounced (shah-VAHS-anna) and is also known as corpse pose or dead body pose. Sometimes it is spelled and pronounced with an h (Shavasana) and sometimes without an h (Savasana).
Yoga Journal’s Step-by-Step Instructions are below.
“In Savasana it’s essential that the body be placed in a neutral position. Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor, and lean back onto your forearms. Lift your pelvis slightly off the floor and, with your hands, push the back of the pelvis toward the tailbone, then return the pelvis to the floor. Inhale and slowly extend the right leg, then the left, pushing through the heels. Release both legs, softening the groins, and see that the legs are angled evenly relative to the mid-line of the torso, and that the feet turn out equally. Narrow the front pelvis and soften (but don’t flatten) the lower back.”
YAX’s instructions are below.
Lie flat on your back keeping the natural curve in the spine. Arms out by your sides palms facing up. The legs can spread wide, toes fall open. Let the body be heavy. Close the eyes. Notice your natural breath. 😉
According to Yoga Journal…
Contraindications and Cautions
Back injury or discomfort: Do this pose with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, hip-distance apart; either bind the thighs parallel to each other with a strap (taking care not to position the heels too close to the buttocks) or support the bent knees on a bolster.
Pregnancy: Raise your head and chest on a bolster. Or, lie on your side with a bolster.
Modifications and Props
Usually Savasana is performed with the legs turned out. Sometimes though, after a practice session involving lots of outward rotation of the legs (as for standing poses), it feels good to do this pose with the legs turned in. Take a strap and make a small loop. Sit on the floor with your knees slightly bent and slip the loop over your big toes. Lie back and turn your thighs inward, sliding your heels apart. The loop will help maintain the inward turn of the legs.
Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
Relaxes the body
Reduces headache, fatigue, and insomnia
Helps to lower blood pressure