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Put a Lid on Prana

Feeling groggy and disoriented after yoga may be the result of inadequate attention to post-practice relaxation.

By YJ Staff


To remain energetic, centered and focused after finishing your yoga practice, stay in Savasana (Corpse Pose) for at least five minutes at the end of every session, although 10 to 20 minutes would probably be better. If Savasana is skipped, the body does not have the time to assimilate the effects of asana practice. With a few modifications of Savasana, the effects of the pose can even be enhanced.

It's important to allow the body to relax deeply. First, make sure your body is arranged as evenly and comfortably as possible. Once you're comfortable, start at your toes and work your way up your body, consciously releasing each part in turn. Then begin to release your senses: Soften your tongue and let your eyes drop back in your eye sockets. Imagine your nose softening into your face and your inner ears relaxing.

Next, try to release all effort involved in breathing. It's hard to let go psychologically if you're laboring to breathe, even at a very subtle level. Don't suck or pull your breath into your body; instead, simply receive it, allowing it to flow in.

You can also use a blanket or firm pillows to elevate the chest and head in such a way that the chest (and thus your breath) opens even more.

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Reader Comments

Gerald Lopez

This is where pranayama before shavasana would be helpful. The breathing calms the heart rate and activates the parasympathetic (relaxation) nervous system, while harnessing the prana released in the asanas; making energy more available long-term. Pranayama also directs energy to the brain, helping one feel alert rather than groggy.

Its very hard to tell yourself to just relax! Shavasana done with visualisations helps "trick" the body and mind to let go. These could be body parts awareness,nostril breath awareness, or awareness of the space behind the forehead (chiddakasha). Done in a systematic manner, this is called Yoga Nidra, which leaves one refreshed and deeply relaxed.

Auckland, New Zealand


So true! I wish this article was displayed earlier. I had such an experience after doing intense Pranayama. It is important to conclude any practice with Savasana, but it is also equally important not to overdo any kind of yoga practice.

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