You made it! For the last hour you've been down-dogging, planking and twisting your body in ways that you didn't think were possible. Now the moment has arrived.... It's time for savasana, or corpse pose.
You get to spend the next 10 minutes stretched out on your mat with your eyes closed, something you haven't been able to do since kindergarten nap time. It should be easy, right? You're just laying there.
Then it hits you, your monkey mind, it starts to go wild thinking about that to-do list and how the most sensible thing to do is roll your mat up and leave as quietly as possible and just hope your teacher doesn't notice.
Next time you find yourself ready to bolt as soon as your teacher says "sa," remember these five tips to help you get the time out you deserve!
1. Lie down on your mat with legs stretched out towards the corners and arms relaxed by your sides, palms facing up, and close your eyes. Lift your sitting bones off slightly -- placing the base of the spine, sacrum, to the floor -- then begin to lengthen your spine all the way up and out the crown of your head.
2. Relax the feet completely, allowing them to fall open. Push the heels away, lengthening through the legs.
3. Relax the shoulders as if they are melting into your mat and tuck the chin towards your throat so that your neck can lengthen. (Notice how I'm using the word "length" a lot? I see a theme,)
4. Now relax your jaw, separating your lips slightly and allow the tongue to fall from the roof of your mouth. Let your eyeballs sink and allow your forehead to be smooth.
5. Breathe. As a yoga instructor I can't emphasize how important it is to breathe throughout practice, but it's most important to breathe during your savasana. Just allow your breath to flow freely through your nose, filling up to full lung capacity, allowing the whole body to breathe. As the breath deepens, allow the whole body to melt into your mat, surrendering yourself to all the benefits this time has to offer. Practice five minutes of savasana for every 30 minutes of asana practice.
When you're ready to come out of savasana, being to wiggle your fingers and toes, take your arms up over your head and stretch really long, as if you're waking up. Roll to one hip and gently guide yourself into a comfortable, seated position.
I honor the place within you where the entire universe resides; I honor the place within you of love, of light, of truth, of peace; I honor the place within you, where, when you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, there is only one of us.
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