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How we can all benefit from laying like a corpse!

I really hope you’ve tried out the relaxation pose from my last blog and are now feeling the benefit of giving yourself time to be and not do.

You may even be finding that it’s actually not that easy to lay completely still, discovering exactly why this is described in traditional yoga practises as a master pose. Savasana (corpse pose or relaxation) is often undervalued, but I hope that by the end of this blog all you’ll want to do is lay down and relax!

Now, I’ve been around the yoga circuit for nearly 20 years and it always saddens me when I hear about classes where relaxation is not included, dismissed as being an expendable part of the yoga experience.

Not so at an Inside Out yoga class! Because all our tutors are fully trained in traditional yoga practises we recognise the immense benefits of savasana and always end our sessions with a relaxation.

For a series of recent lesson plans, I researched and made a list of all the benefits accredited to savasana. I was amazed!

There wasn’t an area of the body that didn’t positively benefit from relaxation (when done properly).

In my previous blog post I mentioned some of the more obvious benefits of relaxation and here are a few of the less obvious:

  1. Beneficial to brain wave patterns – as fatigue and tension are removed we become more mentally alert.

  2. Blood becomes slightly more alkaline, therefore it doesn’t leach calcium from the bones, reducing the risk of oesteoporosis.

  3. Helps to realign the spine – instead of fighting gravity, all the muscles of the back can be relaxed consciously, which we can’t even do during sleep.

  4. Nourishes cells with oxygen (which is why it is anti-ageing!) and helps remove lactic acid (which is why don’t ache or feel as fatigued after a yoga session as compared to other forms of exercises. Don’t beleive me? Try it after your next workout!).

I also discovered that 30 minutes of good relaxation is worth 2 – 4 hours of sleep!

Now, this really interested me.

For many years I suffered bouts of insomnia, sometimes sleeping just a couple of hours a night, for 2 or 3 weeks at a time, yet I never really felt exhausted. Throughout this period of my life I had a regular yoga practise, including relaxation and meditation, which I knew instinctively supported me. I also found that when I was laid awake in bed I was able to draw on my yoga experience and practise relaxations, which not only gave my physical body the chance to rest but also allowed me to accept the situation ie. I didn’t spend the night worrying about my lack of sleep, fidgeting or getting upset.

So in the morning, whilst I wasn’t as fresh as I might’ve been after a full 8 hours sleep, I was still able to function quite normally!

So I hope this has further convinced you of the benefits of relaxations and enthused you to go and lay down somewhere warm and quiet for 10 minutes!

Happy relaxations until next time Ix

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