Wednesday, July 6, 2016

In Defense of Corpse Pose: Start Practicing Savasana Today for a Happier, Fuller Life!

Savasana: Why the Practice Savasana at least once a week to live a happier, fuller life During glorious weekends when we have few plans, my family and I like to do some group Yoga on Sunday mornings. We pop in a DVD and a woman named Autumn leads us through 30 minutes of fairly simple Yoga poses. Even my squishy little two year old does a mean downward dog.

My husband and oldest son laugh at me when we make it to the end of our video and get to spend a few minutes in Corpse Pose. As soon as Autumn says the words I let out a, "Yaaaaaaaaaas," and they poke fun at me. OF COURSE my favorite yoga pose is the one where you lie on the floor and do nothing.

I always giggle as this overly athletic girl wraps up the video and she tells us to tag her on Twitter telling her what our favorite pose is and I consider how not the point it is to be like "All Hail Corpse Pose! The Doing Nothing One!" 

And, okay, if you want to know my favorite actual doing-things pose, it's Tree Pose. So there you go.

But come on, you guys - Corpse Pose is tits.

In defense of corpse pose: how the easiest of yoga poses will do the most for your mind, body and soul

Excuse my language, I've spent 12 years completing my mental and emotional maturity in the presence of a man with pre-teen humor.

I noticed in those 2 or 3 minutes of our Yoga DVD that my body really responded to corpse pose. It relaxed - readily and easily - even without a lot of experience or guidance. It was like my soul was begging for it. Once I realized this, if I needed to think something through. or I wanted to try a meditation from an app on my phone, corpse pose was the only way I could get my entire body to let go enough to let my heart run the show.

It may be the laziest yoga gets, but it speaks to me.

So imagine my surprise upon attending my first organized Yoga session when we ended up spending over thirty minutes on our backs with our arms and legs relaxed at our sides - palms up, eyes closed. Ahh yes, corpse pose. You glorious, perfect thing, you.

Corpse Pose, or Savasana, symbolizes the death of everything in your life before that moment. It's where you let go of anything negative and heavy, and breathe new energy into your life. Sounds pretty great, right?

Why practicing savasana will change your life

My actual in-person yoga instructor has us doing more than just lying in corpse pose - it's an extended meditation that I'm not really sure how I got through life without. I swear to you, it's like my weekly reset button. I look forward to it (and get better at it) every single week. As we lie there, she speaks softly and guides our awareness to various parts of our body where she has us relax and loosen them, sometimes breathe into them, and sometimes thank them. We do this from the top of our body to the bottom, and back up again.

When we finish (I almost said wake up, because that's what it feels like even though you're completely awake and aware during the process), we sit up and practice a brief seated mediation. She also reads us a passage from a book (one that I'm dying to find out the title of.) She says she's lead to each one knowing that someone in the room needs to hear it. 

Every time you finish your corpse pose relaxation, you emerge closer to your true self. I don't know if that means it's an exponential thing - building on itself and inching ever closer every time, or if there's just a baseline self that you can return to after hitting your emotional reset button. But I can tell you that when I emerge from it, I feel happy, weightless, energized, inspired, and grateful. Leaving my yoga studio, I feel like a different person. The air around me feels fresher and magical. My patience and vulnerability is more available.

Practice Savasana at least once a week to live a happier, fuller life

When I return back to my kids with their intense little-one temperaments, all I can think about is how much I love them. Instead of their cries driving me crazy, I can't stop looking at how sweet their little faces are - even mid-cry - and how much I will miss each of these fully emotional moments with them one day. If corpse post (and yoga in general) does nothing more for me than bring me back to the me who desired my children from the depths of my soul, it will be worth every penny and second of my time that I give to it.

So here I was - thinking I was being silly and lazy in my love of corpse pose. Mostly agreeing with the teasing everyone did because when doing Yoga I loved "the one where I lie still on the floor." Not only do I understand my desire for it now, and deeply feel the intensity of my need for it - I've learned that I'm clearly not the only one. It is the biggest part of my weekly class - so clearly honored by my instructor and the students that follower her.

Corpse pose, ironically, is life giving. Its name is a cue to the cycle of life - that things (including negative emotions) die to give way to new birth.

If you haven't yet made the time to give corpse pose a try, I promise you - it'll be the best lying on your back you will ever do.

Nothing really beats practicing this guided mediation in person with a yoga specialist, but you can try Savasana Relaxation with this video of my actual yoga instructor walking you through it!

Enjoy! ;)

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