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Traditional Insights into Yoga: Savasana — Corpse Pose

Traditional Insights into Yoga: Savasana — Corpse Pose Mally Paquette

This restful pose is often overlooked and undervalued. Many consider it the hardest pose in yoga. To be still, totally relax, and pause life is a challenge. Most people have compromised nervous systems, and remaining still is difficult.

There are phases in the relaxation process. Begin by lying flat on the earth with your arms slightly away from your body, palms facing upward. Your legs are more than hip-width apart with feet splayed outward. Envision your neck long, and stretch the neck muscles along both sides. This elongation of the sternocleidomastoid will be relaxing and enhance a deeper breath.

A slightly raised head on a blanket can help quiet the mind. Lifting the hairline higher than the chin allows the eyes to descend toward the heart. The body turns inward, and the senses withdraw (pratyahara). A flat lumbar spine also helps quiet the body; use a blanket or bolster under the knees to bring the sacrum to the floor. The flatter lumbar helps turn the adrenals off and relaxes you into the parasympathetic nervous system.