Traditionally yoga classes finish with resting in Shavasana. We also start the classes by checking in while resting on the backs in Shavasana and include short periods of Shavasana throughout the class.
Shavasana is breath and pose of assimilation. When we come back to the balance of Shavasana, any changes we have made during the movements in any part of the body, let’s say in the hips, are transferred to the whole central nervous system, the whole body-mind system. This is how integration and assimilation happens. So we come to Shavasana a lot to bring everything back to wholeness…………………
Shavasana can sometimes be described as one of the most difficult postures because here we do nothing, which for some people can be extremely difficult.
How to practise
- Get comfortable lying on the back on your mat with your legs long, your arms along side of your body or out to the sides. Find your symmetry and make any adjustments to your body, whether it is lifting your head or drawing the knees into the chest briefly – whatever feels appropriate.
- Notice the sounds around you – any sounds coming from the outside, like the sound of the traffic, the sound of the birds, wind, people, etc and any sounds inside the room you are in. Take a few minutes to really listen to those sounds……
- Tune into your own breath. Begin to breathe in such a way so that when you breathe in you start to allow your belly to rise, and to fall as you breathe out…. Breathing all the way in and breathing all the way out…..
- Feel the contact your body has with the floor – the back of the head and the floor, the shoulder blades and the floor, the left and right arms and the floor, the spine, buttocks, both legs and the pressure under the heels……
- Notice the sensations in your body…. perhaps, feeling any tingling in your hands or feet, sensing the heart bit, feeling the temperature of the air on your skin – the exposed parts where it is cooler and the covered parts where it is warmer….
- Notice the benefits of integration, benefits of coming back again and again to the sensations in Shavasana to consolidate your gains in flexibility, in strength, in relaxation…..