It's been that kind of weekend... The kind I feel I need a weekend just to catch up from the weekend! You know what I mean?
My babies turned 5, so it was just non-stop! It was the kind of weekend where Sunday evening, I wanted so desperately just to relax in front of the TV. Instead, I decided to try a little relaxation pose. My mind and body needed a reset. As a yoga teacher, I have been schooled in the benefits of Savasana, but as the class guide, I don't often get to enjoy the pose. I have made it a personal goal to build it into my day. I encourage you to do so as well.
So, this week - let's discuss SAVASANA.
"Yoga practitioner Tina M. Penhollow, who teaches the science of exercise at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, notes that Savasana helps to improve focus and concentration. She believes the pose can be beneficial for those who suffer from anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
Despite its many benefits for body and mind, more than a few practitioners still view Savasana as an afterthought, the yogic equivalent of the cool-down in an aerobic workout—ideal if you have time but not essential. Also, boring.
“I know that to many students it’s not the most exciting thing to do,” Rosen says. “But think of shaking a snow globe. You set it down on the table, and in a little while the snow settles back down over the houses and trees.” Savasana, according to Rosen, is the settler of yoga. “Everything gets stirred up during asana practice, and you need to settle it back down. That’s why it’s a good way to end practice.” " - See full reading here
Isn't that a great way to think of it! That final pose of your yoga practice is just that - Letting it all settle back into place.
I often remind my clients that it isn't too often that as adults we let ourselves simply relax. No to-do list, not the task of folding laundry while watching TV, no running here, organizing that, planning this.... Just simply turning it all off, taking a few breaths, letting our bodies rest on a flat surface with NO intentions of sleeping. Simply "Just Be".
Now I realize that not all of us are "good at savasana" - But, try to remind yourself that any time in this restful pose is a step in the right direction. Don't spend it internally lecturing yourself about how you should be disconnecting, turning off the monkey mind... Instead just try to breathe. If the mind continues to wonder try a guided meditation - write yourself a short one to think through or try something like this:
"Allow your eyes to soften, the breath to soften, and no longer force the inhales or exhales. Perhaps if your mind is wandering, take a moment to conduct a gentle body scan. Allowing each part of the body to be the focus of your relaxation. Breathe relaxation into the top of your head, allowing the forehead and eyebrows to soften, the breath through your nose to become easy, the tongue in your mouth to rest comfortably, relax the muscles of your face, the chin loosens, and the energy starts then to move down the neck and shoulders into the spine, easing the body one vertebrae at a time, until you reach your hips, inhale and exhale, allowing the calm to move down the legs, slowly, to the feet and all the way to the toes."
This gentle body scan may allow your thoughts to be more focused and easy, and over time you may not need it at all. EMBRACE the JOURNEY!
Take a minute to read through these helpful tips on how to have a Successful Savasana - taken from this article
"5 Steps to a Successful Savasana
1. Set yourself up for success. Stretch out on your mat and be sure you’re completely comfortable. Use bolsters, pillows, blankets, and cover your eyes with an eye pillow or towel. The more comfortable you are, the more you can relax. The more relaxed you are, the more easily you can surrender. The more open you are to surrendering, the more benefits you’ll receive.
2. Take one final cleansing breath. Your teacher will likely prompt you to take one audible exhale, signaling to your body to release into the pose. This cleansing breath also sends a message to your parasympathetic nervous system that it is safe to relax and be just as you are.
3. Scan for tension. Mentally run through all the parts of your body and try to make them heavier. Be on the lookout for tension hiding in the jaw, temples, shoulders, and hips because stress likes to accumulate in these areas.
4. Then, just notice. Some days will be easier than others, and that’s part of the practice. See if you can be still, at ease, and simply trust that the breath will carry you to the next moment. Watch for those peaceful moments of quiet between the thoughts. Over time, they’ll get longer, and you’ll find more inner quiet.
5. Set an intention.Before you come out of Savasana, take a mental snapshot of how you feel on every level. Ask yourself what you’d like to take with you from your practice, and what you might like to leave behind. Seal these observations into your psyche with an inner smile, and then enjoy a deep inhale to awaken and emerge into your day. Now take a moment to notice that you feel more rested, awake, and alive than you did before.
Savasana is a time of rest, but not a time to sleep. If you have a tendency to fall asleep, the first step is to be compassionate with yourself, and acknowledge that your body needed some rest. Over time, you can train yourself to achieve the rest you need while remaining awake."
So try to relax, enjoy this time set aside for just you! -- and why not "Slowly find your way to your final resting pose"