If you have been a yoga practitioner for a few years now, chances are that you have noticed some changes to your body and/or in your attitude to life. With hindsight (and, seemingly, without too much conscious effort) you look back and see the change. Maybe your diet has changed, or you have lost weight. Maybe you just feel more relaxed when at work and when at play. Maybe you are sleeping better, or you are getting ill less. Different benefits can manifest in different people, healing body and mind. But how does this healing occur? This happens during the Shavasana position (also known as ‘corpse pose’- as pictured).
There is a misguided belief that Shavasana is not as important as other yoga asanas (postures) during practice. However, it is suggested that such a belief could not be more wrong. Shavasana is the position which decides the level of potential gained from the practice and it is when the healing occurs. Therefore, it is the posture that is always done last. A whole yoga practice done with great effort will be valuable and beneficial only if you practice Shavasana at the end. Shavasana allows the warmth generated during the practice to go to the muscle groups just worked. This allows pure oxygenated blood to flush the relevant areas worked of any toxins (like lactic acid), purifying and repairing your body.
In time, a regular practice of yoga allows you to draw the energy and confidence gained by the practice into your real life. This happens in the Shavasana position. In a way Shavasana can be considered one of the most difficult yoga asanas. The aim of practicing yoga asana is to reduce the working of the conscious mind to create an opportunity to influence the subconscious mind (re-programming the mind with good habits). The approach of Shavasana is quite the opposite. Here the aim is to increase the conscious level of the mind, expanding your awareness, by observing the parts of the body worked during practice. For this reason, I like to end every yoga at the Prana Vashya Yoga™ Studio with a guided meditation whilst students lie in Shavasana.