Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The corpse pose: why Sivananda style emphasises that

I realise on the days, when I am hurtling from one task to another, if I had wound up my yoga practice with a only short nidra I am immensely stiff, plus feel tired. It is essential to have a long nidra, at least 10-15 minutes, if your practice is around two hours or so...

I also find that those who are restless during the corpse pose don't finish the poses as elegantly as those who take that forced rest in a relaxed fashion. I recall when I first met Bharat Thakur for an interview for Mansworld for an interview, he had poked fun at some yoga schools which asked for rest breaks in shavasana between intense poses. .. He must have also meant my own school:) But frankly, going by my experience of those who come to my classes after having wildly experimented with different yoga styles -- I find  that their  poses are desperate or not complete, including their sun salute --  which can have half-finsihed poses and instead of becoming progressively stronger or more flexible as their sun salute advances, they will become heavier, huff-and-puff more or drop midway weakly, especially in the push-up/plank pose. Their breath also does not seem to return to normal, plus they will complain of stiffness even a few days after a yoga practice... all indicative of the fact that if the classical style is not adhered to, some high price is being paid by the body.

Though today there is still a lot of confusion about the lactic acid build-up in the blood after intense workouts, I am sticking to the old fashioned theory till it is proved otherwise...
  • that the rest allows ur blood to clear the lactate build up in the blood till u move into the next move.
  • also since lactate levels also spike adrenal (stress hormone) and cortisol in your blood (because remember in your ancestral past, when ur ancestors were lurching about in the jungle with dangerous creatures lurking about in the bush,  it was the biology of all this  that helped u fight or flee) u have to clear that too... otherwise u will be like those other yoga gurus u read about (that fellow who murdered his ex and hid her body in the fridge last week) or the other (  in) famous one about whom news leaks out that he hits his wife!!!!
  • and that if u fidget about too much about in the shavasana, your mind is really not settled or calm.. the old classic way of saying this is that if  the vessel(body) is not still, will the water in it(mind) remain still?
  • and from my own personal experience, those who fidget have/or working towards some chronic problem or have some emotional disorder.

So, rest in between to catch ur breath before u do the next pose... and see that as a serious investment:) 

1 comment:

petrosisaakidis75 said...

Shameem U R absolutely right (in case you need some medical back up...hehehehe)

For me the corpse pose between asanas is one of the major factors that made me a fun of sivananda and it gives a meditative quality to a session...Constant movement may have a nice flow-quality but corpse poses/pauses between asanas feels like grounding again, giving your breath, body, soul, some time to become fully present...When I did taichi I loved the flow but tai chi is physically mild and never strenuous...But yoga?

Petros