Aaaaah, Savasana

Rest is the sweet sauce of labor. – Plutarch

Today I’m reminded that I am not super human. Crazy, I know. Like you, I juggle a career, school, family, friends, pets, workouts and outdoor recreation. What I sometimes forget to factor into my day is sleep and today my body has reminded me that it needs to happen.

Our bodies need rest. Our minds, central nervous systems, organs and muscles need ample time to recover. As we exert ourselves physically, it sends a stress response to the brain. Any time your heart rate increases to elevated levels, the body goes into stress mode. We tend to only think of stress as a negative thing, but in our bodies, it is what increases our endurance, makes us faster, leaner and stronger. However, moderation is key. We want to increase the stress on our bodies physically to a point, and then take time to come back and recover so toxins can flush out and muscles can repair themselves. Without taking this time, you run a greater risk of injury and illness.

Note how animals are keenly aware of this. My cat and dog are experts at making time to rest and perhaps we should take a cue from our furry companions. No matter what is going on around them, they seem to be able to tune it out and find savasana without even being directed in how to do it.

compliments of #SomthingtoLearn... http://wp.me/PVWZl-dW

This theme of rest and recovery brings me to what is going to be our pose of the week (or weekend since it is after all, already Thursday)–one that is frequently overlooked by practitioners: Savasana, or corpse pose. After a yoga practice or workout, be sure to take time to completely rest in stillness for at least two minutes, letting the feet fall open, palms turned up to the sky arms rest wide slightly off the mat near the hips. If your mind has trouble quieting down, focus on the breath. Feel the deep sensations of it pulling into the body and any left over tension leaving with the exhale. As the mind wanders, keep coming back to the internal sound of the breath resinating within. Everything from the forehead and jaw down to the tips of the toes should remain relaxed. Observation of the breath and release of the body are key in absorbing the benefits of this pose. May you enjoy this peaceful rest.

I’m going to take mine right now…

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