Re: Pre Meditative Exercises
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Jeff Belyea"
>Savasana (the Corpse Pose)
> --- In email@example.com, "Sanjiv Sahay"
> <sanjivs77@> wrote:
> > Which pre meditative exercises would be the most suitable to calm the
> > mind prior to meditation? I have tried Pranayama (Nadi Sodhana
> > Pranayama) - which is quite effective, but quite difficult to do
> > properly. Also, there are warnings about Pranayama leading to pre-
> > mature awakening of the Kundalini, with all it's consequences.
> > Are there any Yoga Asanas that can help calm the mind?
> > Thanks,
> > Sanjiv
By Bette Rose
In Hatha Yoga, as in life itself, relaxation
reigns supreme. It can actually be more
beneficial than the postures themselves.
That's why, both before and after practicing
various asanas, it is essential to relax the
body and the mind.
Savasana Pose, also known as the Corpse Pose,
is so titled because we imitate a dead
body! We consciously relax all of our muscles,
nerves, bones, organs, etc. Lying flat on
the back, keep the hands on the ground by
your sides, palms facing up. Stretch the legs
out straight, around one foot apart, allowing
the feet to fall slightly outward. Closing the
eyes, turn your thoughts inwardly and try to
focus on the gentle rise and fall of the
breath becoming "dead" to the outside world
and it's events. Start relaxing the body at
the toes, proceeding up the leg muscles, back
muscles, chest, arms, forearms, hands,
neck, face, scalp. Follow the breath as you
inhale deeply into the abdomen and base of
the spine, and as you exhale, imagine the air
circulating up to the crown of the head.
Then, allow the breath to soften and quiet
and feel the waves of calm washing over your
whole body. Realize that you are in a place
between wakefulness and sleep between
consciousness and unconsciousness. Meditate
quietly do not sleep just relax.
It's traditional to begin and end yoga practice
with the corpse. At the start it helps to
center and focus the thoughts and let go of
the days activities in preparation for asana.
But it is most effective and beneficial after
our muscles have been stretched and strained.
That is why it is essential to end every Hatha
Yoga session in this restful way. Notice the
warmth and looseness in the structure of the
legs, arms, and spine.
Savasana is both calming and rejuvenating. Feel
the respiration and heartbeat subside.
Let the mind and body "die" to the past and
future, residing only in the now. The oxygen
and carbon dioxide interchange is now noticeably
flowing through every cell in your
body. Stretching and subsequent relaxation of
the muscles creates a natural reaction of
bringing the mind to rest so eternally and
undeniably connected are the body and
mind. Destroy attachment, desire, restlessness,
and anger. Replace them with freedom,
contentedness, peace and love.
Savasana is at the root of meditation. If we can
truly leave the physical body, we will merge with
the eternal light and life that is true Cosmic Consciousness.
Bette has practiced and shared Hatha Yoga techniques
for over 25 years. She is the Vice President of
the Meditation Society of America. This article first
appeared in our newsletter, The Inner Traveler, issue #2