But this is an article about Hatha Yoga so you will want to know the Yoga way to relax. Lie down on the floor and let go. That is all.
And that is Yoga? It is indeed. It is called SAVASANA or the CORPSE POSTURE. Not a very pleasant name I agree but all the same it is one of Yoga’s most valuable and powerful weapons against ill health and stress.
Try it. Lie down on the floor, no pillows, just a rug or the carpet. Leave off your shoes and wear as little clothing as possible. Whatever you wear must be light and loose fitting. Now stretch your arms above your head and stretch out your legs and feet. Go on, have a good stretch like your cat does before it settles down to sleep. Close your eyes and let your head roll to one side. Let your hands flop where they will and imagine that your body has no bones and that you are giving your whole weight to the floor. Imagine you are on a cloud and that your body is slowly sinking through it. Keep your eyes closed and think of something peaceful, a lovely piece of music perhaps or the sound of the sea. Put on a soothing record if you like or open the window and listen to the birds. Tell yourself that you are drowsy and comfortable over and over again.
Now then, what about those knots of tense muscles around your mouth, your eyes, your stomach and your legs? Go over all areas of your body and locate any knots of tension there might be. Be stern with them. Make them loosen up. Very likely they will tighten up again as soon as your back is turned so to speak but keep your mind’s eye open and consciously and repeatedly relax any clenched muscles.
The worst offenders by far are the muscles of the face. You are clenching your teeth and your jaws right now are you not? You would be surprised at the number of people who do that, even in their sleep. The counter measure is yawning. Do it as often as you can but do please choose appropriate times as yawning is not socially acceptable in many circles and your commendable efforts to teach your facial muscles to relax might be misinterpreted!
Open your mouth as wide as you can, stretch your jaws, tense your facial muscles and then suddenly relax them. Keep practising that movement and you will soon rid yourself of teeth clenching. That in itself is a good start.
So you are lying on the floor in the Corpse Posture and you are finding that it isn’t as easy as it looks to relax. It is easy to lie down on the floor but you think I am unreasonable to ask you to relax every muscle, do you not ? But it can be done. I can do it and so can many other people. It takes constant practice but how worthwhile is time spent towards this end for Savasana is one of the greatest vitalizers known to man. Perform it whenever you are tired, angry, upset, or brain-fagged. Perform it whenever things get on top of you. It is not time wasted. It is Yoga’s ‘masterly inactivity’ working for you.
Article Extracted From “Be Healthy With Yoga” By Sonya Richmond