Finding Stillness in Corpse Pose


Aadil Palkhivala's reply:

Agitation in Savasana is not uncommon--even after a full asana practice, many people still experience difficulty coming to complete stillness and rest.

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Since you refer to both agitation and hunger, there are two possibilities: Either you have not worked deeply enough during practice to feel a release from day-to-day stress, or you have worked too hard and not had enough nourishment, so your body is aching to come out of the pose and be fed.

First, try a deeper and more vigorous approach to your yoga. This does not mean that you should feel aggressive or violent in your practice, but try working hard enough--whether by focusing your intention, deepening the breath, or holding poses longer--to release tension in your body and give space for the nerves to relax.

I also recommend a small meal two hours before you practice or some fruit one hour before the practice, so that your body does not feel deprived. If you are practicing too vigorously, your breath can serve as a gauge. Watch your breath--if it becomes too rapid, shallow, or tense, please slow down and rest.

Whatever the exact cause of your situation may be, it will help tremendously if you bring your attention to your breath during Savasana. Breathe only through your nose, and start with a slow, deep three- to five-count inhalation. Then, while exhaling, double it to six to 10 counts. Do not force the exhalation--adjust the length of the inhalation so that this is easily possible. Focusing on the breath like this brings the mind to stillness and relaxes excess tension in the nervous system, which aids relaxation.

Recognized as one of the world's top yoga teachers, Aadil Palkhivala began studying yoga at the age of seven with B.K.S. Iyengar was introduced to Sri Aurobindo's yoga three years later. He received the Advanced Yoga Teacher's Certificate at the age of 22 and is the founder-director of internationally-renowned Yoga Centers™ in Bellevue, Washington. Aadil is also a federally-certified Naturopath, a certified <a href="/health/ayurveda">Ayurvedic Health Science Practitioner, a clinical hypnotherapist, a certified Shiatsu and Swedish bodywork therapist, a lawyer, and an internationally-sponsored public speaker on the mind-body-energy connection.