That final moment in a yoga session when the instructor says “You can now lie down on your back and close your eyes.” And your consciousness slowly drifts away in Shavasana.
What is Shavasana?
Although it looks the most easy and relaxing it is the most difficult posture to master because it never was about the physical body. Shavasana translates to corpse pose. The body and mind are in a completely still state. Nothing can disturb that stillness. This essential pose is crucial for calming the nervous system.
What do you gain by Shavasana?
Shavasana has more to lose than to gain. You lose anxiety, fear, stress, anger and unnecessary excitement.
It is not surprising fact that a dead body has the highest level of flexibility. It is almost like an elastic rubber, as there is no mind or nervous system coming in as an obstacle to the flexibility aspect of human body. When we are in a conscious state, the major part of resistance in the ability to move comes from the mind and nervous system and not the physical body itself. This resistance is then fueled by fear of getting hurt, lack of confidence, anxiety and nervousness.
Shavasana helps in promoting these tendencies of having a calm mind, rested nervous system, stress-free attitude, relaxed and a meditative state.
Difference between Shavasana and sleep.
Shavasana sounds a lot like sleep. There is a subtle difference. During Shavasana, you are in awareness. You are fully conscious yet drifted away into the realm of subconsciousness. You are present but the logical, analytical aspect of the mind is suspended.
Different people feel different things while being in the corpse pose. Everyone has a different experience during Shavasana. A lot of it depends on the state of mind during that moment, the emotions and the physical yoga practice prior to Shavasana itself. Therefore, it is known as the most difficult posture, because it is not only about controlling your body but also regulating your mind.
Shavanasa is practiced at the end of a yoga session because the physical yoga practice changes the energy within. Due to this energy change, a stress response (mind’s resistance to change) arises that needs to be mitigated. By engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, Shavasana dampens this stress response. Shavasana helps you accept the changes in a blissful way.
So next time you lie down on your mat try to really lose yourself to the easy yet not so easy Shavasana — the corpse pose.