Improve physical and mental health by trying ‘savasana’ pose

Katrina Owens
Lakeside Leader

Similar to last week’s pose, Lori Whitby of Slave Lake Smiling Dog Yoga says ‘savasana’ isn’t as simple as it looks.
“This is another pose that looks easy but in reality is one of the hardest because it asks you to slow down and be still,” she says. “It is total relaxation without sleeping but also not allowing your mind to wander.”
Whitby says start by lying on your back with your knees bent. Lift the hips and draw the buttocks towards the feet to lengthen your spine.
“Straighten your legs and let your feet fall naturally out to the sides. Draw your shoulders away from your ears and tuck you shoulder blades underneath you so they feel like they are lying flat, then relax your arms out to the sides with palms facing up,” she says. “Relax the muscles in your forehead, between your eyes and your jaw; even remove your tongue from the roof of your mouth. Slowly move that relaxation down through every muscle in the body. Place your attention on your breath as your practice letting go of your thoughts and find complete relaxation.”
Whitby adds, “Place this pose at the end of your yoga practice and hold for five-10 minutes. To come out, gently roll onto your right side for a couple of breaths then use your arms and hands to press yourself up (Don’t heave yourself up after taking the time to relax your whole body).”
Modifications and Props:
A yoga bolster or rolled up blanket under the knees makes this pose feel great, especially if you feel any discomfort in your low back. If you are experiencing a pinch in the low back, lie with your knees bent and feet on the ground slightly wider than your hips and let the knees fall into each other.
Benefits:
Calming and balancing for all the systems in the body. Reduces headache, fatigue, and insomnia. Helps to lower blood pressure. Practicing this every day conditions the body to release stress and can improve your sense of well-being.

Smiling Dog Yoga instructor Karine Jacob demonstrating ‘savasana’.

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