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Relaxation through the Yoga Pose of Savasana
The technique which we will practice together for the yoga pose, Savasana, utilizes the system of marma joint complexes, found within the Ayurvedic or Indian medical theory, for the process of relaxation. The marma points are like unto the acupuncture points of Chinese energy medicine. Each offers a space wherein one may communicate with the underlying energy body within the human energy anatomy. In Ayurveda the marmas are the energy points that draw you in to the circulation system, the nadis. This is like unto the acupuncture points that link one into the flow of the meridian system. Within energy medical theory, the marma/acupuncture system sub-stands or underlies the Western medical nervous system. The main concept to take away from this description of a system of medicine unlike our Western medical theory is that in working with the marmas or in working with the acupuncture points you have access into the energy body. If you can get in touch with your energy body, you can in fact and in truth change your physical body. The whole purpose of the physical yoga, called hatha yoga, which is the system many Westerners associate as the totality of yoga, is to link body to mind, and body and mind to spirit. Yoga in its entirety is a way of life, a physical mental and spiritual practice and philosophy.
As with everything pertaining to energy directions found in today’s world, there are varied presentations of the breakdown of the marma joint complexes. I’ve read several of the practices and theories. Deepak Chopra gives excellent information on Ayurveda (he is an Ayurvedic physician as well as an endocrinologist) and the beauty of his works is that he combines the framework of energy science with Western medical knowledge, giving an interesting informed presentation of what he calls the quantum mechanical world. Mira Mehta and Maya Tiwari and Dr. Vasant Lad also offer excellent Ayurvedic information.
As to the energy breakdown for Savasana, I have studied and practiced two approaches. One is offered through the works of Dr. David Frawley, a yogi and an Ayurvedic physician. He presents the system of marmas with 18 pranic (life force) points, terming the practice a form of pratyahara, or withdrawal of the senses, which is practiced like a Savasana, lying on the floor, breathing into and out through the named marma points. For the person who is energy sensitive and has some grasp of his or her own energy body, this practice is very effective.
For the person who is beginning with mind/body/energy work, the practice offered by Dr. Jonn Mumford (Swami Anadakapila Saraswati) is the most effective. Dr. Mumford’s technique names 16 marma nerve complex joints and offers two methods for practice, beginning with combining physical movement, breath, and imagery, then moving into using only breath and imagery.
To relax the body as a whole, we speak to the body in its segments. Relaxing part by part, we bring deep and total release to the whole. Sound good? Let us begin.