In this final yoga video of our six part series, we focus on relaxation. Sivasana is the body’s opportunity to rest and integrate the benefits of your yoga practice. It is suggested to do a minimum of 5 minutes of stillness, but if you have time for more even better!
Sivasana translates into english as “Corpse Pose.” Hmmmm…. doesn’t sound very nice but it does summarize the point of the exercise well, which is for body and mind to settle into deep stillness.
Props are optional, but if you have a bolster use it under the knees. You could also use pillows, under the knees and/or head. An eye pillow helps the eyes relax, or a folded towel over the eyes will help block out light. Body temperature drops when we relax, so a blanket can help if you are in a cool room. Comfort it key here, and the challenge of sivasana is to stay awake! Remember the body is resting, but the mind stays present and alert.
*This video was cut off at the end, so be sure to set a timer or put on music for a minimum of 12 minutes (to sync with length of video). Come out of the relaxation slowly, with a few deep breathes.
Remember it is normal for the mind to wander, for emotions to arise and move, and for us to feel irritable in stillness. This is exactly why sivasana can be considered one of the most challenging asanas to master- there is no movement or bodily sensation to distract us from what is going on within us. Don’t judge what unfolds here, but stay present and aware of what goes on during these few minutes of stillness. Be patient and compassionate with yourself, listen to what your body and emotions have to tell you. You might even learn something new about yourself!
One of the benefits of resting longer in sivasana (upto 15 minutes or more), is you target the nervous system (fight/flight). If you are a person who is highly stressed or burned out this is the best exercise you can do because you are taking all strain off the body. There should be very little stress on the body here, and that in-turn sends the nervous system the message that you are “okay” you are not stressed or straining, and you are safe in this moment. It is that magical moment that nervous system begins to rest, reset, re-balance, and rejuvenate.
Feel free to view the play list here: The Gentle Way of Hatha 6 Part Series.