You’ve done it, you’ve completed the warm up!
Oh yes, the standing series is considered the warm up!

You have earned this two minute Savasana, but remember before you drift off this is still a posture, so lets get it right.

Turn around and lie down, feet facing the back wall.

We are often asked the reason why in class we lie in this manor, feet facing the back of the room. It is a tradition passed down from the roots of yoga. In India, like in many countries in Asia, feet are seen as unclean and it is therefore considered rude to point your feet at people. So we lie with our feet facing the wall, as to point them away from our teacher.

1 – Lie on your back. Heels together, feet flopped out, arms by your side,close to your body and palms facing the ceiling. Let your fingers curl naturally. Let the floor hold you, try to relax into the floor.

2 -Eyes open, gaze softly at one spot on the ceiling, do not close your eyes.

3 – Breath normally, in and out through your nose.

4 – Do not move, do not fidget. Leave the sweat, ignore the itch, focus on your breath. Relax, meditate, let go.

Point 4 is the one we all struggle with. Calming the mind and letting go of our thoughts, while simultaneously ignoring any physical discomfort… easy… not!

Tips to mastering Savasana:

–  Thoughts will come. Acknowledge them and let them go.

– Focus on your breath. In for 6 counts out for 6 counts, always through the nose. You are breathing in so that your abdomen rises and falls. If you find it is only your chest that is rising and falling, focus more on allowing the abdomen to move.

– Try to take your mind away from the physical discomfort/irritation, by taking it back to your breath. Try to focus the mind and ignore distractions: the sweat running into your ear, the itch on your left calf  etc.. Instead bring your mind back to your breath.

– We are trying to relax and let go of all the tension in our body, refuelling for what is about to come. Focus on your breath, imagine it is a wave washing over you, head to toe, taking with it all your stress, tension, aches and pains.

While we are looking at Savasana, we might as well address the ones coming up shortly on your front.

– The correct alignment for this is to lie on your stomach, big toes touching lightly, feet flopped out, arms by your side and close to your body, palms facing up to the ceiling. Let your fingers curl naturally.

– Your head should be facing sideways with your hear pressing into the mat. Your teacher will let you know which direction your head should be facing, but if you are looking into someone else’s eyes one of you is facing the wrong way.

– Keep your eyes open, rest your gaze softly on the corner of your mat or a space on the floor in front of you.

– Focus on your breathing, slow calm breaths in through your nose out through nose.

Savasana is where the magic is happening. Your blood is pumping around your body bringing fresh oxygenated blood to all the muscles that have just worked so hard and sweeping away with it all those nasty toxins. You are flushing your body, whilst at the same time refuelling for the next posture and you don’t have to do a thing, in fact the key is to do nothing but breathe, Enjoy!

As well as the host of benefits both physical and mental, Savasana is also about preserving energy between the active postures. Do not fidget, do not move. This, also goes for the standing savasana between every standing posture.  If we can practice 100% relaxation in savasana, we can give 100% effort in the postures. This stillness also creates discipline, that in turn creates a more focused life enhancing practise.

Final Savasana is still a posture and part of the practise, take it! If you can, lie there for 5-10 minutes.  Calm the nervous system, let your body know you have finished and as an added bonus you will stop sweating, before you even hit the showers!

 “To make the right choices in life, you have to get in touch with your soul. To do this, you need to experience solitude, which most people are afraid of, because in the silence you hear the truth and know the solutions.” Deepak Chopra 

PADANGUSTASANA
toe stand

Benefits:

Creates balance and focus in body and mind.
Strengthens stomach muscles.
Strengthens joints (hips, knees, ankles and toes).
Helps relieve arthritis in hips and all leg joints.
Good for circulatory problems, arthritis and rheumatism.

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