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Shavasana, key to good health

Shavasana is regarded as the King of Asanas. Physical and mental relaxation achieved by Shavasana is unparallelled. The Shavasana technique relies on the premise that for optimum relaxation of muscles of the body, prior stretching of muscles is necessary. The stretching must be just enough to create a pleasant sensation. The awareness of an individual doing this exercise must be focused on process of stretching and relaxation.
In Shavasana, progressive deep relaxation is achieved by stretching and relaxation exercises of the body while staying aware. Shavasana practice begins with bringing one’s awareness onto one’s body. Normally, our mind has a tendency to wander. Bringing awareness to body and keeping it there is a vital step. If the mind wanders, without undue force gently bring it back to the body.
In this relaxed posture, forgetting the body, the practitioner focuses his awareness on the natural process of breathing. Without making any effort to change breathing, he becomes a witness to every single breath that goes in through the nose during inhalation and every single breath that comes out during exhalation. This way, he becomes one with his breath.
He remains in this blissful state for two or three minutes. Then he takes in a deep breath and exhales slowly. He gently opens his eyes, moves his hands and feet, turns on his side and assumes a sitting position. The whole exercise would take less than five minutes but it refreshes the practitioner for a long time.
By Ramesh I Kapadia

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