The Energy Practice of Savasana, a Segmental Mind/Body Release
Position/Preparation/Tools: Assume the position you want for your practice. Prepare yourself to relax, open, release, and heal your mind/body, segment by segment.
The tools you are going to use are physical movement, breath, and mind body focus. If physical movement is difficult, you may use whatever is possible of the movements or instead practice totally through breath and imagery.
Spend a few moments getting ready.
Even if you feel like you have a hard time staying still or keeping your mind in one place, stay with it, for the process you will practice will get you there.
Honor how you are and begin.
Overall Technique, Moving from Feet to Head: On your inhalation, visualize the body part, breathing into the described space while contracting a muscle group.
On your exhalation, release both the muscle contraction and body segment.
There are three places where the breath work differs, 2 where you are using the abdominal muscle groups, 1 where you work with the spinal column within the torso, and this will be noted.
The inhalation brings the life force in, vitalizing, nurturing the mind/body space.
The exhalation brings healing, relaxing the body segment, breathing away all toxins, all discomfort.
Relaxation is a learned skill. The maintenance of a relaxed body mind in today’s busy world requires that we nurture this learned skill repeatedly. The rewards are great. The process does just what we want it to do for us. We find our way into becoming comfortable in our lives and in our own skins. Savasana gives us this gift.
Inhale, bring in new life.
Exhale, breath away all that is old, no longer needed
in your body and in your life.
Savasana: Segmental Release with Physical Movement:
Feet: Inhale, curl the toes under, breathing into the entire foot, including the ankles. Exhale, release and relax the entire foot. Nurtured, supported, let it go.
Lower Legs: Inhale, draw the toes of each foot towards the head, pushing the heels away from the torso (dorsiflexion). Image the entire lower leg, the shins, the calves, filling with new life. Exhale, releasing the toes and relax the entire lower leg. Nurtured, supported, let it go.
Knees: Inhale, breathing into the entire knee area, pressing the knees back onto the mat, if lying down or towards the chair, if seated. Exhale, release the whole knee, completely relaxing this space. Nurtured, supported, let it go.
Thighs: Inhale, turn the toes of each foot in (inversion) allowing the heels to push out, visualizing, vitalizing the entire thigh. Exhale, releasing the inward turn of the feet and relax the whole thigh. Nurtured, supported, let it go.
The next two physical movements involve the use of the abdominal muscles and the process of breath differs from the overall technique.
Lower Abdomen (pubic bone to navel): Inhale, visualizing the life force entering the lower abdomen, pubic bone to navel. On your exhalation, contract the muscles of the root of the body, the lower abdomen and buttocks. Release the contraction allowing the breath to enter again, and this time as you exhale, breathe away any discomfort or tension in the area of the lower abdomen, healing this space. Nurtured, supported, let it go.
Solar Plexus (navel to diaphragm): Inhale, the navel rises filling the solar plexus with breath. On your exhalation, draw the navel in towards the spine. Release the contraction and inhale again. This time, with the exhalation, release and relax totally the solar plexus of the body, bringing healing into this body segment. Nurtured, supported, let it go.
Resume the overall technique of breath – contracting with the inhalation, releasing with the exhalation.
Chest (rib cage to collar bone): Inhale, expanding the ribcage, side to side, front to back, allowing the breath to comfortably enter the lungs from the lower ribs to collar bone. Feel the breath vitalizing, nurturing this part of the body. Exhale releasing the ribcage and chest and allowing all toxins to leave the body through the breath.
The chest – nurtured, supported, let it go.
The breath for the release of the spinal column of the torso also differs from the overall technique, with the contraction made first within the lower spine on an exhalation, then on an inhalation in the upper spine. This is your time of spinal vitalization/visualization. The overall release and healing comes in the final exhalation. Instructions follow.
Spine: Inhale, breathing into the spinal column of the torso, from the tailbone through the shoulders, vitalizing this space.
The two part contraction for vitalizing: On an exhalation pull the navel in towards the spine, visualizing, vitalizing the lower spinal column. As you release the navel to inhale, press the shoulder blades back towards the mat (prone) or towards the chair (seated) for the second contraction – visualizing, vitalizing the upper spinal column. Release your breath.
The healing: Inhale again and on a second exhalation, release, relax, and heal the entire spine, root to neck.
The spine – nurtured, supported, let it go.
Tips: Working the spine in segments helps us pay special attention to an area of the body that is so significant in supporting our mind/body health. It’s worth the breakdown and the extra time, for when the spine is well, we feel good.
Resume the overall breath technique.
Hands: Inhale, wrap the fingers around the thumb, contracting the muscles in the hand. Exhale, release the fingers and relax the entire hand. Nurtured, supported, let it go.
Forearms, wrists through elbows: Inhale, pressing the wrists down, visualizing, vitalizing the lower arm, from the wrist through the elbow. Exhale, release the contraction and breathe all tension away from the forearm. Nurtured, supported, let it go. Upper Arms, elbow through the shoulder blade: Inhale, pressing the elbows into the floor, bed /back towards the chair, contracting the upper arm, feeling the shoulder blades press into your body. Exhale and release the arm/shoulder segment, breathing away the tension that accumulates there. Repeat this release several times, for the repetition will help you. Repeat the movement more than one time in any of your sensitive areas, anywhere you feel blocked, tense. Use your exhalations to release again and again and again.
Upper arms/Shoulders – nurtured, supported, let it go.