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How to Rest (Part 1 of 5)

Technique #1 - Body Scan

Savasana aka “Corpse pose” is one of the most challenging beginner poses. At first it seems almost impossible to quiet the mind as it thinks about the (100 + 1) things you could be doing other than lying on the floor! Not to mention if you lay there long enough, the searing discomfort and pains felt in the low back, shoulders and back of the head. However, this is a most important posture. In corpse pose, gravity settles the muscles and resets the spine. It is not only a way to “seal” your asana practice, but even when you haven’t done asana at all Savasana, is the perfect way to settle the mind. In the supine position the mind eventually quiets. A good way to focus and allow thoughts to slow is to practice a “body scan” technique while in corpse pose. Start at the toes and work your way individually to the top of the head. Bring attention and awareness to the body part “at hand.”

No need to move or wiggle that body part just bringing awareness there is enough. With full attention on the area, allow it to relax. Start at the toes, then the sole of the foot, the ankles, the shin, calfs, knees — so on and so forth until the body is completely at rest. Once at rest lay there for 5 to 10 minutes. It is helpful to put a timer on before the start of practice to ensure that this relaxation technique doesn’t turn into a mid day nap!

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