In the previous lesson, I shared the importance of regularly relaxing the mind and body and about how relaxation techniques bring about the removal of physical and mental tension. Today I'd like to share a new shavasana/savasana practice with you :) I hope it will help you relax and leave you feeling refreshed. ❤
Today, I've included the following bits of yoga information:
My whole intention here is to help you develop your own yoga practice for a more peaceful life. Eventually, maybe, we will all be able to maintain an intuitive sadhana (spiritual practice) on our own. And... Perhaps we will all feel comfortable sharing what we are learning with the people we care about. Benefiting everyone :) ❤
YOUTUBE INTRO & RECORDING
Shavasana Part 1 & 2
SHAVASANA - PART 2
The two parts of shavasana comprise a whole, and as such, the second part should be practiced immediately after the first part, without a break.
Regarding Sleep, Awareness & Benefits
The biggest problem is sleep unless of course, you practice shavasana specifically to remove insomnia. It is the habit of most of us to sleep whenever we achieve a reasonable degree of relaxation. We seem to associate relaxation with sleep and tension with wakefulness. Yet the aim of shavasana is to gain a high state of relaxation while being fully awake.
If we fall asleep halfway through shavasana, we lose much of the benefits, because, during sleep, the mind again manifests its usual patterns of worry. By remaining awake and directing awareness to the different parts of the body and the breath in the way described, our awareness is coaxed away from its entanglement with obsessive mental anxieties. So, try to stay awake, even though it is very easy to just drop off to sleep.
Throughout the practice, one should try to be aware of all the processes which we have described in shavasana. However, it is very easy to think of other thoughts and become distracted from the practice at hand. You should not suppress thoughts if they arise. Let them occur, be aware of them but simultaneously continue on with shavasana.
During yoga classes, the teacher gives all the necessary instructions and the practitioner merely listens and carries them out. It is far easier to gain benefits under these circumstances. However, when you practice by yourself you should develop the idea that you are the instructor. Instead of the instructor being in the form of another person, he is now in your head. Mentally repeat the instructions to yourself and then enact them. In this way, you are more likely to maintain awareness throughout the practice.
Summary of the Steps of Shavasana
Shavasana is a systematic technique which progressively relaxes the body and mind. Therefore, the order of practice is important so that you become more and more relaxed as you work through the technique. The following is a list of the basic steps to possibly metally repeat to yourself throughout the practice:
PAGES OF SHAVASANA (PART 1)
Saraswati, Satyananda. A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya. Yoga Publications Trust, 2013.
We are in this new world and culture of confessionalism when it comes to what we share about ourselves and our lives on the internet. I have been thinking lately about the moment when the confessionalism becomes a commodity of sorts. Society urges writers to share as much as they can online, to publicise themselves online in their blogs, youtube videos, and Instagram.
So I wonder, am I creating this blog as a way to publicise myself? As an author? As a "thinker?" As a yogi? Has a writer's private diary been lost in our culture?
I feel myself withdrawing from it all a bit, but I also find myself clinging to the ease of it. The need for it. The need to be heard. To have my existence witnessed, if even for a moment. I want to keep sharing the things I've learned because I know that Yoga is beyond beneficial, but I can't help reflecting on the "why" I share... I just want to make sure I'm coming from a legitimate, selfless place. And if I'm not sometimes, if I get a bit "sharey" or "personal"... is that so bad?
Where will this go? Will I eventually feel write more openly... experiencing once again that feeling of catharsis that results from an open-hearted release of self? Or will I continue to write from the Underground... and from there dispense of my critiques and studies? Or, and dare I say it, will I ultimately expel myself from the internet in total! We shall see. Until then... the new plan is to focus solely on Kriya Yoga and see what becomes of it. ~ Ashley
A Change in Plan
The Art and Science of Relaxation
During Yoga classes, wonderful changes can be seen in people. Many people walk into class with tension written on every line of their faces and on every word they speak. Aggression pervades them. Their bodies are filled with tension, worry, and unhappiness. They start practices, not necessarily difficult ones, and slowly but surely the stress and emotional turmoil begin to evaporate, melt away. They generally don't know it, but the yoga teacher can see the transformation on their faces. The students only realize their realization at the end of the lesson when they find that they are smiling, really smiling, not superficially, for the first time in days, and that they are actually singing to themselves as they walk down the street. They find that in comparison to before the lesson, they are feeling light, carefree, and have confidence in themselves. This is not an exception but the rule. These people, by the systematic process of relaxation techniques, have changed their whole attitude towards themselves, to other people and life in general. This transformation may only last for an hour or so, but it leaves a wonderful impression on the mind and helps to permanently encourage a more relaxed attitude towards life. It is a starting point from which you can fully begin to enjoy mental and physical relaxation as a normal part of your life, whether during intense activity, sleep, or whatever, and not as something that you experience only occasionally, perhaps during yoga practices.
I want your life to be an expression of relaxation and joy. The way is by cultivating the ability to relax under all conditions and at all times. Everything you practice in yoga brings about relaxation and a thorough revitalization of the body and the mind, whether it is by means of asanas, pranayama, meditation practices, or whatever. Yet there are some special techniques which are very simple, which especially bring about relaxation in a short period of time. These will be discussed below and at various stages as we make our way through our Kriya Book. ❤
Love is the essence of our life. I have written this blog with love, and I offer it to you, dear reader, with the hope that the suggestions offered here will become a vital part of your self-healing and continued well-being. ~ Ashley
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