Savasana and Deep Relaxation

by Akash

Savasana and Deep Relaxation
At the conclusion of my asana practice, I gently place my body on the floor. The earth is below me, nurturing me, and my heart is open to the sky. Keeping perfectly still, I release each body part in turn:

feet, ankles, calves, knees …… until I feel an extraordinary sense of letting go. My body is seemingly lifeless, yet I feel intensely alive. My lifeforce draws in from the periphery to the centre. My inner organs are nourished as the prana is magnetically pulled towards the spine. The realization arises, “If I am not the body, then who am I?” I surrender still deeper until a calm, steady, unwavering presence is felt within my heart.

Deep relaxation may be the most essential component of a yoga session. Many students of yoga say that they have had their first spiritual experience in savasana. For myself and for many others, savasana is the most important part of the yoga class. Perhaps more than ever before, this practice is needed to bring balance back to our world. Let‘s explore the benefits of Savasana as taught by the ancient Masters of yoga.

Rejuvenation and Healing
All disease is caused by blockages in the flow of prana, the all-healing intelligent force that brings harmony and vibrancy to our physical forms. In savasana, the flow of prana that has been awakened during the asana practice becomes smooth and calm. Then the liberated prana is able to penetrate deep into the organs, glands, muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and spinal column.
According to Dr. Matthew Moelicker, a chiropractor and yoga practitioner:

”The practice of yoga teaches the primary healing technique of utilizing energy to regulate organs, glands, circulation, metabolism. This is accomplished by switching the autonomic nervous system over from the depleting sympathetic mode to the restorative, calming parasympathetic mode of operation. A switch over which requires physical relaxation, mental tranquility, emotional equilibrium and deep abdominal breathing. All these qualities are found in savasana.”

This vibrant, alert state of complete relaxation is thought to be, according to yogis, better than sleep. Those who practice savasana regularly can attest to the fact that in only 8-12 minutes, they feel completely rejuvenated, healed, and revived.

Integration and Prana
Without integration time the benefits of your yoga practice will be dramatically diminished. The internal cellular shifts generated by yoga practice need to be digested on the “blueprint” level for permanent change to take place. If we rush on with our day without this integration time, the accumulated prana will be quickly dispersed, stolen away from us by the many demands and distractions of life. One of the definitions of a yogi/yogini is, “one who conserves his/her energy.” In order to learn how to conserve one‘s prana, we must have a first-hand experience of the blissful nature of the awakened lifeforce in the body. This realization is usually first felt by the student in deep relaxation. This awareness of prana flow is at the heart of yoga. Without it we can scarcely call our practice “yoga”.

Mental Benefi ts and Manifestation
Mentally, deep relaxation gives the mind a much-needed break from the worries and cares of modern life. As we return to everyday consciousness, we often find that new solutions are now available to us. This may lead a new student quickly towards a desire to meditate. He/she will want to deepen the ability to access the super-conscious state at will through more advanced practices of concentration. When the brain waves become smooth, there is a precious opportunity to plant seeds into the consciousness
that will truly transform our lives, bearing fruit on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual planes. Before coming back to normal consciousness, you may want to bring an intention to the seat of willpower at the spiritual eye. With utter faith and relaxation, allow this thought to take root in your mind until your very cells sing with the reality of your vision. Then your intention, if it is for the highest good of all, is sure to bear fruit. 18 seconds of pure positive thought is said to equal 1,000 hours of physical work! Pure thought is thought without doubt.

Spiritual Awakening
Savasana can be much like a shamanic journey. Deep realizations of the nature of our souls, messages from our Higher Selves and spirit guides, and guidance for our life‘s work may be revealed. An artful yoga teacher can weave a magical web of discovery during savasana for her/his students.

Spiritually, savasana can be a profound time of awakening. For the first time perhaps, we are able to feel the intoxicating freedom from the burden of the body. We begin to identify with the Higher Self. This is truly the goal of yoga. We are practicing the 5th limb of Patanjali‘s 8-fold path of yoga, as described in the yoga sutras: Pratyahara.

As we are freed, even for a short while, from the entanglements of the personality and the stifling limitation of an externally dictated role, a feeling of lightness and joy percolates up from the heart. This soul-joy has a lasting effect that can bring a fresh new perspective to our lives.

Be reborn daily
Savasana literally means, “corpse pose”. John the Divine said in the bible, “In Christ, I die daily”. In savasana we have an opportunity to withdraw the consciousness into a higher plane and experience a “little death” from which we may be reborn. Every day, with savasana practice, we can leave the past behind and embrace life with new inspiration. We have the power, through complete surrender, to create ourselves anew.

In savasana we learn, like a martial artist or warrior, to completely relax at will. Then, with our power and energy replenished, we can stand strong and revitalized, ready to fully engage in “the battle of life.” This is what it means to be fully present, completely and radiantly alive. By letting go of attachment to the body we learn to fully inhabit the body. We open ourselves to the miracle of each unfolding moment.