MASTERING SHAVASANA – Everybody’s favorite yoga pose
During yoga class it’s common knowledge that some poses are meant to challenge you more than others. For example, tackling that warrior three is going to take a lot more mental and physical practice than let’s say, child pose. One of the poses we may not be giving its full potential or truly given it the practice it deserves is shavasana.
For most of us, when hear shavasana, we get that, “ahhh, finally! Time to lay down on my mat and close my eyes” feeling. A sense of relief we’ve all grown to love after working hard throughout the practice. That reward is awesome and shouldn’t be thrown away, but there is so much more to take away when you fully immerse yourself into the pose.
A pose. That’s a good place to start when thinking about what’s going on during shavasana. It’s a pose, class isn’t over quite yet. Like many parts of yoga, it’s not as easy as it sounds and it deserves the same mindfulness and intention that your bring to other poses. So, in honor or National Yoga Month we’re focusing on taking our practice to new heights and giving our mind and body the restoration it deserves via these tips to master shavasana.
BODY FOCUS – this part may be the easiest to perfect, but a little refresher course never hurts.
- Lie on your back with arms and legs spread out about 45 degrees
- Let the feet fall outward so that the pinky toe is (or is close to) resting on your mat and hands should be resting on their backs with palms facing upwards.
- Keep shoulders down, face relaxed, and teeth unclenched (this is a big one that many people don’t realize they’re doing until focus is brought to it).
- Once you have settled into your resting position, keep it. This is as much of a mental challenge as a physical one, but keeping still and not fidgeting allows for the full benefits of the pose
MIND FOCUS – aka how do I turn this thing off?
- Let it go. Let go of the mundane to-do lists floating around your head or the little stressors that are threatening to plague your day. This is definitely one of the most challenging aspects of the pose but clearing your mind is how you’ll be able to get that refreshed and reenergized feeling – one of the biggest benefits of shavasana.
- Focus on your breath. One of the best ways to bring your wandering mind back from who knows where, is to put your mind towards your consistent, rhythmic breath. It’s amazing how a few seconds of focus on a singular thought can quickly calm you down.
- Unfortunately, there is no 3-step-program to mastering quietness of the mind, but rather something that takes practice and discipline. But, one of our favorite tips we’ve heard when struggling through this pose is to just smile away any distraction that threatens to disrupt your practice. Just smile- we can all at the very least do that.
Hit your mat a few more times than you regularly would this month in honor of National Yoga Month and see if you can take your corpse pose (just in time for Halloween, right?) to the next level of stillness.