"By remaining motionless for some time and keeping the mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax. This conscious relaxation invigorates and refreshes both body and mind. But it is much harder to keep the mind than the body still. Therefore, this apparently easy posture in one of the most difficult to master." B.K.S. Iyengar.
I started this post about savasana to be a short newsletter. Quickly, though, I realized that there is so much to this pose than it appears and my "short newsletter" has become multiple blog posts. How? You may ask. How can a pose that is 'just laying there' require so many words and explanations?
There are a few reasons for this:
I'll explore all of these reasons in this series, but I'll start with one of the primary misconceptions:
It's actually called Corpse Pose
This one may not be a misconception, but a misnomer. Calling savasana a relaxation pose is accurate, but 'relaxation' is not the direct translation of the word savasana and as such, it doesn’t really capture it’s entire meaning.
I am guilty of side-stepping this actual translation and purposefully calling it "Relaxation Pose." I do this because I am sensitive to the fact that it might be a trigger for some people in the grief support group, especially without more context about the deeper meaning of the name.
As with other aspects of grief and emotional awareness, authenticity and calling something what it actually is can be helpful. So I explored it, which is how this post came to be.
I found what B.K.S. Iyengar says about savasana in Light on Pranayama to be enlightening:
“Sava in Sanskrit means a corpse and asana a posture. Thus Savasana is a posture that simulates a dead body, and evokes the experience of remaining in a state as in death and of ending the heart-aches and the shocks that the flesh is heir to. It means relaxation, and therefore recuperation. It is not simply lying on one’s back with a vacant mind and gazing, nor does it end in snoring. It is the most difficult of yogic asanas to perfect, but it is also the most refreshing and rewarding.”
"Ending the heart-aches and shocks the the flesh is heir to."
I know that for myself, I was always oddly perplexed that I was doing 'corpse pose' when death was so front and centre in my life. The way I reconciled the name corpse pose with practicing it after a death, is that it was a practice of complete and total surrender (surrender: to cease resistant to).
I found it easy to cease resistance to the fatigue I felt in my body and to slip into the stillness and silence of savasana. Mentally surrendering to the reality that grief eradicated my life as I knew it felt congruent because so many parts of me died when Cam died. The hard part was the SURGE of emotion that would spontaneously arise, making the supposed-surrender all the more complex and at times seemingly impossible. It did not feel like 'relaxation' as suggested by the Iyengar in the quote above.
He says, "remaining in a state as in death and of ending the heart-aches and the shocks that the flesh is heir to." Before you can end the heart-aches and shocks (maybe 'live-well-with' is a better word than end?) you must experience them in a way that integrates the heart-ache and shock reality into our life. Feel it to heal it.
When Iyengar says "ending" the heart-aches and shocks" I don't think he means permanently ending. We are human after all, and of course, heart-aches and shocks will happen throughout life whether we want them to or not. I think he means that in between the surges of thought and emotions there are moments of complete and total stillness that are void of thought, emotion and suffering. It is in these moments that you can truly relax.
The practice of savasana is to cultivate the ability to stay conscious of everything that is going on within you so that you can learn how to extend those spaces of stillness a little longer each time. Becoming still in the body and witnessing the impermanence and flow of thoughts and emotions is the doorway to conscious relaxation. More broadly, savasana teaches you how to manage life's ups and downs with less reactivity and more equanimity.
Another way to look at corpse pose is seeing it as the conscious awareness of death, and how parts of you and your life "die" everyday, especially after a major loss. Savasana, as a daily (or often) practice is quite literally, the practice of dying everyday; letting go of what we can let go of (like the constant and sometimes unhelpful chatter of the mind, for example) and appreciating some of the deeper chords that link us to life (awareness of the preciousness and fragility of life and relationships).
At the end of savasana when you slowly begin to move your body and deepen your breath, you are symbolically "beginning again." This idea of continually re-opening or re-beginning is a major part of integrating your yoga practice into your life and feeling recuperated from it.
“We die a little every day and by degrees we’re reborn into different men, older men in the same clothes, with the same scars.”
Regardless of what happens in savasana - you sleep, you cry, you think your head off - doing it with awareness and the intention to practice conscious relaxation is the most important part.
I hope you've enjoyed my take on corpse pose and I'd love to hear what you think. Feel free to comment below.
Stay tuned for the next post where I will look more deeply at savasana as a practice.
Through out this post I've referenced Light on Pranyama by B.K.S Iyengar. There is a wonderful chapter in the book on savasana and I recommend it as a resource.
Another one of my favourite books which looks at relaxation in a broader, more practical "off the mat" sense is Sabbath by Wayne Muller.
There is a difference between a broken heart and a heart broken open. The broken heart is real but leads to a shutting down on life. The heart broken open creates the possibility for light to filter in. In that open space, there is room for compassion and tenderness to grow. In the end, choice helps to shape your experience. Choose to let your heart be broken open and see what remains to grow. - Ashley Davis Bush
I resonate with the work of Ashley Davis Bush and find her to be so affirming and loving in sharing her wisdom. When I saw the quote written above on her Facebook page and it made me think of all the heart opening practices there are in yoga.
Slowly and gently yoga invites you to notice your heart. To breathe into it, and to create space in it. Enough space to hold all the hurt and all the love simultaneously - perhaps this is what being broken open means. Connecting with the heart's brokenness and openness creates compassion and understanding, and from there, choice. Choice to treat yourself compassionately, choice to make decisions that are life giving and self supportive. There can be wisdom and guidance in a heart broken open.
Below is a short heart opening sequence.
As you move through this practice be open to how your heart is communicating with your mind and body. Notice what thoughts present themselves to your mind. Notice your emotional reactions to them. Notice the subtle (or not so subtle!) sensations in the body. This practice isn't about solving or changing anything. It's simply about connecting and opening to the wisdom and awareness that can reside in a heart broken open. Trust yourself.
Start in savasana. This is my favourite way to start class. Use this time as a time to transition from living your day outside yourself (as is often the case with jobs, families etc) to a "yoga space." A time of awareness and connection with yourself. Allow your body to settle, and bring your awareness to what you are experiencing on the inside. Take this time to allow your mind to settle on the breath, noticing its rhythmic flow, constancy, and availability. There is no rush. Take time to slow down. Take time to practice being open to and with your heart.
Bend your knees and roll onto one side. Resting there for a moment. Pressing up to sitting and setting up for a deeper heart opening pose. For this pose you will need two blankets, folded so it resembles a long skinny rectangle. Set yourself up so that one folded blanket is placed towards the head of your mat, around where your shoulder blades will be. Have the other folded blanket to place under the knees.
You will lay back on the blanket so it touches the shoulder blades. The shoulders must be above the blanket, so the shoulders can release towards the floor. Notice in the photo how my arms can easily fit above the blanket and the blanket is placed below the arm pits. **If the shoulders are resting on the blanket, it will not allow your heart to open. Place support under the head if your chin is lifting up, or if there is tension in the neck or throat.
Allow your upper back and knees to gently cascade over the blankets...hence the name, waterfall pose; Imagine water as it flows over rocks in a stream, smoothly and softly.
Breathe into your heart. Inhale and swirl the breath around your heart with the intention of having the breath nurture and explore the heart. Exhale and relax, sink, soften. Inhale and swirl, nurture, open, explore. Exhale soften.
To move out of this pose, roll over to one side and press up to sitting.
Next, move yourself to a wall. Have your folded blanket ready to use, or a bolster. The easiest way to get into legs up the wall pose is to sit beside the wall right hip and thigh is parallel to the wall. Turn to lay down on your back and swing your legs up the wall. Spend a few moments here, allowing your body to adjust to this position. There is no hurry. Slow down.
Bend your knees and place your feet on the wall. Lift your hips up off the floor and slide your blanket or bolster underneath your hips. You want to feel stable here so adjust the props as needed. Roll your shoulders together behind your back and press them into the floor so your breast bone lifts towards your chin and your chest and heart is open.
Breathe into the openness of your heart - the center of your chest. As you inhale expand the breath to both shoulders. Exhale and soften. With each in-breath expand the breath further: from the center of your heart to both shoulders and eventually down the arms and into the hands.
When you are ready to come down: place the feet on the wall and lift the hips. Remove the bolster or blanket and roll down one vertebrae at at time. This can be a really nice release for the back so move slowly and care-fully.
Once your hips are back on the floor, rest.
Staying in legs up the wall is a nice way to end the practice. Or, stretch out, lay flat (as in the start) and rest. For the first 10-20 breaths of savasana focus on breathing light into the heart. You can imagine a warm glow or a candle flame. As you inhale, imagine that light growing brighter. As you exhale maintain a sense of a light inner body. Inhale and grow the light brighter. Exhale and maintain.
"The heart broken open creates the possibility for light to filter in." - Ashley Davis Bush.
I recently started reading a book called Full Body Presence by Suzanne Scurlock-Durana. The first chapter had me hooked.
In those first few pages she wrote of something that I have known on some level, but seeing it in print made it so much more tangible.
She describes many instances when we don't trust our internal awareness - for example, feeling intense grief over a dear friend moving away but being told by people around you that your grief was not important, and shameful..."Why are you worried about it? You have many other friends, right?" Or having a creepy reaction to someone in your life and being told to stop being so silly and jumping to conclusions.
"In all these examples, your body was telling you something important, but those around you tried to convince you that what you were sensing wasn't real or valid" (page 9).
It was this lack of trust of our inner and deepest self that struck a chord within me.
She further describes how a lack of trust of our inner worlds leads us to looking for external sources to shape, define, solve, remedy our lives.
Take grief for example.
Our grief slows us down physically and mentally. We feel tired, lethargic, numb, confused, disorientated, lost and sometimes even crazy. Our emotions are all over the map. We feel so different, our lives feel foreign. We wish we could go back in time and never let go of the past.
The worst part is this: In the throngs of grief you don't know what to do. You've never lived like this before. If you don't know, and don't trust what you feel inside, you look outside yourself for the answers.
You look to a society that pushes speed, rewards efficient solutions, reveres stoicism, and demands productivity. We, as a society, don't do well with stillness, solitude, loneliness, pain, and hurt.
So here we are.
"Keep really busy," they advise.
"Don't cry. She wouldn't want you to be sad," they scold.
"You need to get back to how you were before he died," they push.
"Don't live in the past," they warn.
"Stop feeling sorry for yourself," they say.
"Quit playing the victim."
Need I go on?
We are taught to not trust our grief.
Intuiting the message, reading between the lines, understanding the subtext, we hear this:
"Whatever grief-striken energy you feel inside you is wrong. You feel the wrong things. You think the wrong things. You are doing it wrong."
What I teach in Yoga for Grief Support is this:
"Whatever grief-stricken energy you feel inside you is something to pay attention to. There is wisdom there. Let's learn, together, how to touch those wounds with compassion."
If you feel it, it's real.
If you feel it, it's important.
If you feel it, you can heal it.
Be curious about it. What is it saying? What is it's message? What is it's deepest need?
What if you believed that your internal world is telling you something very important about how you need to heal and nurture your broken heart?
Imagine, just for a second that the grief within you can be trusted - even in it's painful.
I mean, you are hurt, afterall. Let's spend some time there.
Say to it, "I will take care of you."
This is what moving towards your pain is. You must move (gently and with no rewards for speed) towards (and through) your pain to heal.
Suzanne Scurlock-Durana writes that our bodies are "incredible navigational systems that inform us constantly, from our gut instincts to our heart's deepest yearnings" (page 5).
Let's shift our relationship to our instincts and our senses from one of mistrust and doubt to reliance, and connection.
I'd love to hear your feedback on this book if/as you read it.
Please feel free to post comments under this blog.
I can’t be the only person on this planet who has struggled with holding the pain of grief and “thanks-giving” at the same time.
Just today, I heard an ad on the radio outlining the things we should be grateful for. That one word, “should,” got my back up. Gratitude has become a buzz word, and I’ve often wondered how many people (myself included) really understand what gratitude is? In our busy distracted world I wonder if people really do feel and experience a deep sense of thankfulness and appreciation instead of just saying they do? Especially in the face of loss and grief.
Back in October 2006, I attended our annual family thanksgiving dinner fill with dread. All 40 of us circle around the room and state what we are thankful for. That year, I had nothing. Cam died 4 months prior, I was overcome by the largeness of my loss. As CS Lewis wrote in A Grief Observed, about his wife’s death, “her absence is like the sky, spread over everything.”
There was a lot I should have said, and even could have said, but I didn’t. I could have said, “I am grateful for my health,” but instead I agonized over, “Why wasn’t he healthy?” I could have said, “I’m thankful for having him in my life,” which simply reinforced how much I lost and how much I still wanted him in my life. I could have said, “I’m grateful for my family,” but the only person I was looking for in that crowded room was him.
Gratefulness felt trite. Empty. Impossible.
Earlier that October day I had been sitting outside in the fall sunshine. I closed my eyes and absorbed the warmth of the sun. I could smell the crispness of fall in the air. I heard the flap of a bird’s wings as it flew overhead and stared in awe at the mere fact I just heard a bird flying.
I felt something in those experiences. I absorbed, smelt, heard, and felt awe. But, I can’t say I took the time to appreciate them. And yet, looking back, these glimpses of experiences that were so small brought large amounts relief and reprieve.
Now I see that what I needed at the time was to not only understand the power of gratitude but to shift my expectations of it. To forget what the world thinks I SHOULD be grateful for and find things that move me to a natural state of deep appreciation and kindness…and beyond that, recognize that state as gratitude itself.
In wrestling with this over the years, I have learnt some valuable lessons about how to make gratitude a more accessible experience even in the face of grief.
1. Be flexible with your expectations around gratitude. Gratitude is malleable, and your perception of gratitude will change depending on life circumstances. There may be times in your life when your gratefulness spans life-times and relationships, and there may be other times when you are grateful to get through a moment. For example, when you are healthy, it’s easy to say, “I’m grateful for good health.” After a life threatening diagnosis, your expectation of gratitude may change to being grateful for good lab results, or a good report from a surgeon. Your benchmark of gratitude has shifted and this flexibility allows you to find gratitude despite challenging situations.
2. Slow down enough to notice the small things. Think of gratitude as a practice of mindfulness. On my daily dog walk I could go over projects, to do lists, mentally solve all my problems and do all my thinking, but instead of being “mind full” I try to be mindful. I try to get out of my head and into my body. I engage my senses and take the time to notice the beauty around me; to see the slanted light shining through a grove of trees or the red fall leaves against a bright blue sky, hear the crunch of snow under my boot on an otherwise silent morning, smell the pine tree as I walk under it, the relief and release I feel after in my chest and shoulders after a deep sigh. Instead of these small things going un-noticed, they become an intentional exercise in appreciation. Thich Nhat Hanh says, "People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child - our own two eyes. All is a miracle."
3. Let it sink in. Take the small things and the beautiful things, and make them big things. Be open to feeling the shift in perception when something sparks that fire of appreciation and relief within you. That spark is what we are grateful for – it’s a feeling, a visceral response that brings us much-needed reprieve…
4. Understand that gratefulness is not about denial of loss and grief. Alternatively, we become more aware of the fullness of life – the beauty and the pain. Holding both means full engagement of the heart, full compassion, full living. Zora Neale Hurston captured both profound life and profound gratitude when she said, “I have been in Sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots. Then I have stood on the peaky mountain wrapped in rainbows, with a harp and sword in my hands.”
This thanksgiving, take time to slow down, and notice the small things. Gratitude helps to build courage, resilience, feelings of connection and well-being and sometimes we have to be intentional about finding these moments and letting them grace us.
On the topic of Gratitude, I have found these sites invaluable:
As I wrote in Mindful Mind - we spend much of our mental time and energy trying to avoid or prevent pain and suffering. When it comes to our emotions however, we have to feel it to heal it. This is where the practice of mindfulness comes in.
Being mindful of our emotions can be extremely challenging because it can be counter intuitive to 'lean into' our pain. However, as Helen Keller said, "The only way to the other side is through," and this is true in grief - we must move to the heart of our pain to heal.
It's helpful to understand the interplay between the mind and our emotions. Often, our experience of emotion is either triggered by a thought, or triggers a thought. A problem can arise when a feeling gets linked with a thought loop in the mind, which plays over and over again. When we think about a feeling we over identify with it, and get caught up in the story and become swept away by it. Being mindful is a more balanced approach of recognizing the feeling, being aware of how it feels in your body, and watching it transform and move through you. There is no need to explain it, change it or make it go away. Simply be with it, and connect with it as it is experienced in the body. For example, you may feel tension creeping into your shoulders, emptiness or queasiness in the stomach or a lump in your throat with tears in the eyes. This is how the emotions shows up in the body.
Emotion actually comes from the latin root, with means "with movement." When we practice mindfulness we give our emotions space freedom and time to move through us. Emotions and feelings are meant to be felt. Being mindful reveals a natural rhythm to them, a natural ebb and flow. Periods of intensity followed by periods of reprieve - where everything is in a constant state of motion...a fluidity. This natural rhythm is how we dose ourselves with pain - sinking into the intensity at times and at other times moving way from it and resting. Tuning into this rhythm and honouring it is powerful self care. By understanding and experiencing that all emotions have movement and come to pass, we build trust in our ability to be resilient in the face of emotional suffering.
One of the most powerful and supportive mantra's I have found for myself is "This too shall pass," which is reflected in this thought provoking quote by Neil Jordan:
"I hoped that grief was similar to the other emotions. That it would end, the way happiness did. Or laughter."
Our minds are what make us human....well that, and opposable thumbs. We use our minds to understand, remember, plan, rationalize, organize and logic-ize (and make up words). We use all these functions (and more) to solve our problems...and if we look at even the root of that - to avoid pain and to feel good. In our minds we rationalize and think, "_______ happened and I don't like it. How can I stop _______ to feel ______." In this process we develop habitual responses, automatic reactions and filter everything through the lenses from behind which we see the world. Our thoughts and our perceptions join forces. Overtime and with "practice" our thoughts become our beliefs.
Our society and culture focuses strongly on our minds and the power of our minds. We tend to believe that if we think it, it must be true....and if we want to be "better" we have to think more. I believe this creates a dichotomy where we believe the mind has ALL the answers. We become disjointed from the rest of our bodies and the wisdom that lies in us, beyond the mind - the wisdom of our bodies, our intuitions, our emotions.
When we slow down and become mindful we take a step back from our habitual experience to gain perspective. Being mindful of the mind, we simply view our thoughts from a distance - from a witness perspective. We don't try to stop our thoughts, or empty our mind. On the contrary, we are deeply aware of the content of our thinking - yet we don't become enmeshed in it, we don't get carried away by it. We watch the activity of the mind from a curious, non-judgemental, witnessing perspective - we develop mindfulness around the true nature of the mind and the nature of our thoughts. We see the bigger picture of our minds. We begin to notice what thoughts may (or may not) serve our greater personal good. We may begin to realize thought patterns that dominate our experience (for example, anxious thoughts and worries) or perhaps you notice just how unaware you have been as to the content of the thoughts that dominate the internal world of your mind.
In any case, being mindful of the mind is a very dynamic and engaged process. It takes concentration and awareness, compassion and a lack of judgement. It also takes patience - understanding that we never arrive at a mind that is empty and serene. We arrive with an awareness that we can create space in our minds to notice and to choose our thoughts, reactions and even beliefs.
Taking the Victor Frankl quote one layer deeper, and understanding it as it applies to the nature of the mind: "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
Create space for your own freedom.
I've always been very inspired by the Buddhist teachings around Mindfulness. My introduction to meditation was down the mindfulness meditation path, and I've always believed in a seamless and natural bond between mindfulness and yoga. In coping with emotional intensity and grief, mindfulness is an extremely supportive and honouring practice.
In its most basic and broadest sense, mindfulness is the practice of tuning into our full experience, using all our own senses. With mindfulness our experience becomes richer, our senses broader, our mind more focused.
Mindfulness is unique because it can be done as you go about your daily life - in fact, its probably practiced best this way - completely integrated into your daily experiences. You can turn any moment into a mini-mindfulness meditation by just slowing your movements down and paying attention.
From where you are right now, just stop. Notice something near you - an object which you can pick up. Take a moment to just notice that object, and all its qualities - shape, color, texture. Notice yourself noticing it - the movement and tracking of your eyes, the tilt of your head, your breath. Now very slowly (very slowly) begin to reach your hand towards the object, using all your senses to tune into the full rich experience of simply reaching. Noticing things like the contraction and simultaneous lengthening of your are muscles, the movement and touch of your clothing agains your skin, the subtle ways your hand adjusts and positions itself to grasp. Include being mindful of thoughts and feelings as they arise - noticing them without judgement and with complete acceptance and awareness.
Moving slowly and with awareness is the portal into minfulness. When we slow down we open ourselves up to new ways of experiencing each moment. The practice of mindfulness isn't to change anything, it's simply to expeirence if for what it is. Approach each moment with a fresh "beginners mind" and open perspective to an otherwise mundane and routine experience. It only takes a second or two to slow down, mid-day, mid-action, and practice mindfulness. A mini meditation to expand your inner awareness and create space for new ways of perceiving. Two great times to practice mindfulness are when walking, and when eating.
In his book, Man's Search for Meaning, Victor Frankl said, "Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
Create space for your own freedom.
Stay tuned for part 2: Mindful Thoughts, and Part 3: Mindful Emotions.
When I was asked to write this guest blog, I was honored and am still very honored. As a dance/movement therapist, I was excited to share from this perspective and advocate for the body's role in grief, mourning, and healing and then I let myself become caught up in expectations about having to write from this perspective. I thought I had to write the most poetic piece but through that journey the topic of this blog blossomed: permission. A topic that may seem so benign on the outside but in reality is important. Sometimes it is the journey that we find what is already naturally onside of us. To live authentically and in the continued interest of self disclosure, my intention is to not write the perfect post but rather speak from the heart and an embodied place in support of my own journey and your journey.
The world may place many expectations on how we move through grief and bereavement. People may attempt to push someone to move on or present ideas meant to be helpful with well meaning intentions. Action is being advocated for and as a consequence a place to explore and move through one's own process is not given the space and freedom to develop. Everyone has their own way of expressing and journeying through their grief. We may feel it in our hearts, our stomachs, or our limbs. We may express our feelings through stillness, spoken words, written words, art, music, or dance. There is wisdom is what messages the body conveys about our grief and how we choose to convey our inner process. Trusting one's own process can be freeing. Our grief and healing process is our own and it is okay to go through one's own journey! Yes, I am saying that everyone has permission to be as you are in your process.I hereby give all of you permission to grieve, mourn, move, heal, and be who you are in your own process. Below I have included a blank form that you may find useful.
Peace be with all of you. Kimberlee Bow, MA, R-DMT
Kimberlee Bow obtained her Master’s in Somatic Counseling Psychology with a concentration in Dance/Movement Therapy. She obtained her R-DMT or Registered Dance/ Movement Therapist credentials by meeting the high standards that are required of the field. Dance/Movement Therapy is based on empirically supported evidence that the body, mind, and spirit are interconnected. A dance/movement therapist therefore uses movement in a psychotherapeutic manner to encourage emotional, cognitive, psychical, and social integration and growth. Dance/Movement Therapy is suited for individuals, groups, family, and couples and can be used with multiple different populations in many mental health or medical health settings. For more information please visit the American Dance Therapy Website. There, one can find more information about Dance/Movement Therapy, the organization, great resources, and access to a list of Dance/Movement Therapists in your area.
Kimberlee Bow works in Colorado in a private practice with children and families. Additionally, she brings Dance/Movement Therapy to elder groups, veterans, at-risk youth, support groups, intergenerational groups, and continues to expand her work. Her website, www.kimberleebow.com, is currently under construction, but will up soon. For more information please email Kimberlee and she will be happy to answer questions.
I am proud to announce that I have a relaxation CD for sale! I created this CD as an audible relaxation practice - that can be done in your own way and your own time. It's another way that I hope to bring the practice of yoga off the mat and into daily life.
Savasana is the final relaxation pose in every yoga class - the act of complete and conscious surrender of the mind and body. I joke that this is the hardest pose in all of yoga - if you've ever had trouble falling asleep or relaxing you know what I mean.
The body must relax in order for the mind to relax, and the mind must relax in order for the body to relax. Savasana is a holistic practice. Practice being the key word. It doesn't always come easily. However, as with many tools we have in our "toolbox of life," conscious and mindful relaxation is something we can learn and cultivate with practice.
This CD is about an hour long, and made up of 3 separate tracks which are about 20 minutes each. It can be done as an hour long relaxation session, or you can choose one of the three 20 minute practices. The tracks are guided relaxation, so you just have to turn on the CD, lay down and follow the voice guided instructions.
The benefits of relaxation run deep. It is the natural antidote to stress, and further to that, the antidote to the effects stress has on the body and mind. Relaxation lowers the heart rate, and blood pressure. It slows and deepens the breath. It has an synergistic effect on the nervous system - balancing out the sympathetic (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic (rest and restore) nervous systems. This leads to improved sleep, better immune function, improved digestion, and higher energy levels. It can also help to decrease feelings of anxiety and panic, and increase feelings of clarity and creativity.
In a society where stress runs rampant, and in lives where loss creates high levels of prolonged stress, relaxation is an invaluable tool.
You can find the CD to purchase here. Or just click on "store" tab above. The CD can be purchased as an MP3 file for 9.99 or you can purchase the compact disc for 14.95 plus shipping fees.
"Light be the earth upon you, lightly rest." - Euripides (484 BC - 406 BC), Alcestis, 438 B.C.
Here is a video interview of one of my yogi heros, Matthew Sanford. I've read the book he is speaking about and it was a great read (you can find it by clicking around on the resource page). I've written about this man before, and will again, because I think his message is so amazing....Let me know what you think.