Some time ago a senior colleague started a Women’s Exercise Center in our office. After office hours, all the women staff who were “interested” in abdominal work-outs were to meet in the common room for exercise. It was an enlivening but painful experience for some people including me. During those mornings we usually greeted each other with a convulsive smile and would involuntarily ask “how’s the pain today?” perhaps to ensure that the pain was not individual. While it helped a few ladies to lose their extra fat, it triggered the food cravings and hunger in some others. To every body’s amusement, my friend would sneak in to the nearby store and discretely relish bars of chocolate after her ‘abs’.
Our sessions would certainly begin with warm up exercises and would end with a relaxing Shavasana of 10 minutes, often guided by the Lady-trainer. Well, during the Shavasana session I would go in to a trance not discernible from sleep. Lying ‘dead’ thus on the cold tiles of the silent building brought a lot of peace and tranquility within.
As a child, I had seen Shavasana being practiced by my father and believed to be a joke. Only when I grew up did I know that it was a real Asana!
Generally practiced to remove strain, exertion and fatigue, Shavasana is said to be the best exercise for cardiac problems, hypertension and insomnia. Shavasana relaxes every muscle and nerve of the body and helps significantly in lowering high blood pressure. Any individual who has been restricted from doing other asanas due to hypertension can perform Shavasana without trouble.
Most of the people term it as a simple exercise while some experts call it a challenging but highly rewarding posture. Shavasana, known as Corpse pose in English, is one of the most important positions in Yoga. It can be done to prepare yourself for a harder exercise and also after any strenuous physical activity to relax.
Shavasana calms both your body and the mind and promotes energy flow. Shavasana eliminates both mental and physical tiredness while preparing you for the conservation of positive energy. Shavasana essentially relaxes every nerve of your body and improves your respiratory and circulatory system. Mental worries and nervous tension are relieved as problems like headache, dizziness, mental weakness, hot flushes and sciatica are eradicated. To an extent it also benefits people with neurosis and fear complexes.
Shavasana is effective only if it can transform you to a spiritual world. At the same time, on the physical level it should bring you complete rest. Always remember to wear loose garments while doing Shavasana. Do not sleep off during your Shavasana. It is required to do Shavasana on empty stomach and for a month. For optimum benefits, it is said that Shavasana has to be practiced for 10-15 minutes 2 or 3 times a day. But there is no fixed duration as the ultimate aim is to relax. While practicing Shavasana for Blood Pressure, you should check your blood pressure regularly. If you find that you find your blood pressure dropping below the normal level, discontinue your practice. Shavasana, however, is not recommended for people with low blood pressure.
Shavasana embraces all the three realms of the physical, spiritual and the philosophical.