Shavasana or Savasana is a popular yoga posture that is generally performed at the end of a yoga session. Inspite of its simple nature, Shavasana is considered as one of the most essential and beneficial poses in yoga practice.
Shavasana is not merely a relaxation technique; it has several proven physical, mental, and emotional advantages. In this article, we will read and understand the many benefits of Shavasana one by one that makes it so good to promote the overall well-being.
What Is Shavasana?
Shavasana comprises two words – “shava” which means corpse and “asana” which means pose in English. It is a yoga posture that has been practiced for centuries as part of the ancient Indian tradition of yoga. The pose is mentioned in several classic yoga texts such as the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
Shavasana is also known by other names such as Mritasana (death pose) and Yogic Sleep (relaxation). The pose is believed to symbolize the final relaxation of the body and mind after death and the liberation of the soul from the cycle of birth and death.
How to Perform Shavasana Correctly
Follow these steps to perform Shavasana correctly:
- Slowly lie down on your back with your legs some distance apart. Place your arms on the sides, with your palms facing upwards.
- Make sure that you are comfortable and relaxed. You may use a pillow or a soft blanket to add some support on your head, neck, or the knees.
- Close your eyelids softly, take a few deep breaths. Then, release slowly through your nose.
- Bring focus to each part of your body, beginning from your head and moving downwards towards your toes. Relax each muscle while releasing the breath.
- Stay in this pose for 5-15 minutes or longer, depending on your comfort level and schedule.
To come out of the pose, take a few deep breaths and gradually begin to move your fingers and toes. Flex your arms back, stretch your body, then roll over to one side and pause for a moment before slowly sitting up.
What Are the Advantages of Practicing Shavasana?
Shavasana is an all-rounder when it comes to your physical, mental, or emotional health. Here’s how it helps to bring in the overall well-being.
Shavasana is an excellent posture for your physical health.
Reduces stress: By releasing tension and relaxing the muscles, Shavasana helps lower the cortisol levels, the hormone that is associated with stress.
Lowers blood pressure and heart rate: When the body is in a state of relaxation, the blood pressure and heart rate decrease, which in turn helps to improve the overall cardiovascular health.
Improves digestion: By activating the parasympathetic nervous system, Shavasana can help to cultivate a healthier gut and promote better digestion and assimilation of nutrients.
Enhances immune system: Shavasana improves blood circulation, strengthens the muscles, and improves lung function, thus boosting the immune system which leads to a better overall health.
In addition to the physical benefits, Shavasana also provides your body with several mental benefits including the following:
Reduces anxiety: Shavasana is an excellent tool to reduce the anxiety levels. By calming the mind and minimizing the mental chatter, Shavasana alleviates the feelings of worry and anxiousness.
Promotes mental clarity: Shavasana allows the mind to rest and recharge. This helps you focus, concentrate, and stay productive at work or home.
Enhances creativity: Shavasana can promote creativity and inspiration by letting the mind to relax. It can also stimulate the flow of clear ideas and insights.
Improves sleep quality: Shavasana can aid in improving the quality of sleep by calming the mind and reducing the stress levels.
Shavasana can help you manage your emotions better.
Increases self-awareness: Shavasana ensures that all practitioners can keep a watch on their thoughts and emotions. This, in turn, helps to increase self-awareness.
Enhances emotional stability: Shavasana is an excellent pose to find an emotional stability. When you practice it regularly, the stress levels are in control and your body receives ample relaxation, promoting a stable mind.
Contraindications of this Asana
Despite the many benefits of Shavasana, there are some situations where it may not be appropriate or safe to practice.
- Shavasana may not be appropriate for those with severe back pain.
- Relaxing can be challenging for a distracted mind. Trying to force relaxation may lead to irritation and headaches.
- Relaxing the body when it is in pain is difficult. Pushing yourself to take your mind off the discomfort may not prove effective.
- Lying on the back during Shavasana may cause discomfort for someone with severe acidity as it may irritate their food pipe.
Finally, we’ll leave some tips for you to get started on the journey of practicing Shavasana and making it a routine.
Here are some tips for beginners of Shavasana:
Look for a comfortable spot: Select a corner that is comfortable for you to practice while also reducing the chances of disturbance during your practice. You can use props like blankets, bolsters, or pillows to support your body and make it more comfortable.
Release tension: Before starting, inhale a few deep breaths and release any stress or tension that you may be harboring. Try to not think or worry during the practice.
Focus on your breath: While practicing the pose, focus on your breath; it should be slow and steady. If the mind strays, force it to focus on your breath.
Stay still: It’s important to remain still during Shavasana, so avoid fidgeting or moving around too much. If you need to make adjustments, do so slowly and mindfully.
Take your time: Don’t rush through Shavasana. Allow yourself to fully relax and rest for several minutes before slowly transitioning back to a seated position.
By following the previously mentioned tips, you can master Shavanasa without difficulty while benefitting from its many advantages.
Shavasana is a restorative yoga pose with many benefits. It’s a must-do for yoga practitioners of all levels and can alleviate several physical and mental health issues including digestion, stress, and sleep quality. However, if you have any contraindications to the pose, consult an expert before proceeding. Now, get up and give Shavasana a try!