Author Topic: Shavasana-To Achieve Health, Relaxation and Advanced States of Trance  (Read 12579 times)

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July 20, 2006, 09:53:54 PM
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Rawiri

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I believe this "lecture" I held randomly may be of use to those other than who were present so I have posted it here. It is not complete and the advanced practice will be added, as well as the whole thing edited when I can find the time. But I see no reason to keep it now from those who may derive benefit from perusing it.

[06:55] <^KiwiKid^> Proper Shavasana can essentially be divided up into two parts, if not three. Elementary and advanced. Elementary should hopefully be done for 1 week before commencing advanced practice if one wants to get total benefits. Though one may skip to advanced straight away if they so wish.
[06:55] <^KiwiKid^>  Elementary practice is essentially relaxation of the body as one unit. While advanced practice is the relaxation of the body, split up into seperate units, so it is more complete.
[06:56] <Zake> why is relaxing the body part by part more difficult than relaxing the body as a whole?
[06:56] <^KiwiKid^> Shavasana means corpse pose, and has been called dead pose. These are quite suitable according to the dead like appearance that one can get. Shavasana is the key to trance like states given by the yogis, where they appear dead for days at a time, the body becomes cold primarily, breathing is slowed etc.
[06:57] * Rafnul has joined #vmeta
[06:57] <^KiwiKid^> Zake: It's not, however, the act of getting asana right and the correct weight feeling should be developed first, before directing conciousness into specific parts of the body which can effectively be damaging if done incorrectly and unprepared.
[06:58] <`Nazukarr> How hard is it to come back to conciousness when you achieved Shavasana?
[06:59] <^KiwiKid^> `Nazukarr: It is simple if one really wants. In deeper states one will go into a form of sleep, but one is always on the brink of conciousness. So one may not really want to :p
[06:59] <Zake> so thats why one doesn't see that many yogis around... >_>.
[07:00] <`Nazukarr> Zake: Rofl, my thoughts exactly.
[07:00] <Zake> wait, so shavasana is essentially just relaxation?  what/where are the specific techniques used?
[07:00] * Guest_E6oON has quit IRC (Quit: Goodbye)
[07:00] <^KiwiKid^> that's what I was going to explain, stuff that typically isn't gone into detail online anywhere from my knowledge. To the degree it should be at least. It is often overlooked.
[07:00] <`Nazukarr> Goodnight guys.
[07:00] * `Nazukarr has quit IRC (Quit: `Nazukarr)
[07:00] <Pharaoh> So true... lol.
[07:01] <^KiwiKid^> You end up with a deep sleep, where you come in and out of knowing that you are sleeping. Yet you are always somewhat aware, it is a hard state to explain, but when you reach it you will know it for sure.
[07:02] <^KiwiKid^> At that, there will be a lack of dreams or any such thing when you do it properly. You will, as it were, simply cease to be aware of any existance whatsoever.
[07:02] <Zake> sounds like... sleep.  so aside from not rolling around too much at night, what are the benefits?
[07:03] * Necrypsys has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[07:03] <Darkflame> sounds like what I got when trying to do astral projection once. :/
[07:03] <^KiwiKid^> Typically when a person sleeps, one doesn't relax their body as much as they do in shavasana. So one still maintains stresses.
[07:04] <^KiwiKid^> One learn eventually, in the advanced stage, to bring on almost instant deep relaxation of the body, rather than going through the mental process of relaxation.
[07:04] <^KiwiKid^> learns*
[07:05] <^KiwiKid^> The prana is transferred out of the body and into the internal organs, which maintains their health and proper functioning.
[07:05] <^KiwiKid^> The nervous system, due to the lack of movement etc, also is rested and rejuvenated
[07:06] <Pharaoh> So pretty much due to everything resting rather than a few things, you'll feel more energetic because of it?
[07:06] <^KiwiKid^> typically, the minds tensions are held in the body, by releasing the tensions in the body through shavasana one releases the tensions in the mind indirectly. Most people cannot identify whether tensions started in the mind or body, through shavasana one can learn to see the difference.
[07:06] <^KiwiKid^> Pharaoh: If you stretch appropriately afterwards, then yes.
[07:07] <^KiwiKid^> Otherwise, you will feel quite drowsy if stretching isn't done, because the prana still remains in the internal organs and is not distributed properly.
[07:08] <^KiwiKid^> Is that all the questions?
[07:09] <Pharaoh> For me, yes. Based on what you know from me though, should I still go through the elementary as well instead of advanced?
[07:10] <^KiwiKid^> For at least 1 time, yes.
[07:10] <^KiwiKid^> If that is all, I will go on to describe the elementary technique now.
[07:11] <^KiwiKid^> First thing that must be done is assumption of the suitable asana. The asana is lying on your back upon the floor. The feet should be about 20 inches apart, and they should fall outwards.
[07:12] <^KiwiKid^> The arms should be at about 45 degree angles from the body, palms up (to avoid stimulus)
[07:12] <^KiwiKid^> An important point of notice, is to check that the small of your back, is against the ground. If it is not, proper relaxation is near impossible.
[07:13] <^KiwiKid^> In which case, you will have to adjust your arms and posture, so that it is. The back naturally, should be straight.
[07:14] <^KiwiKid^> For someone with lower back pain, it may be productive at first to place some pillows under the knees, and perhaps neck and shoulder if needed. (If you do not need it, don't use it)
[07:15] <^KiwiKid^> Shavasana can also be done on a bed etc, however, in practice it is better to do on the floor, as this allows maximum surrender to gravity, and teaches you to overcome the discomfort.
[07:16] <Pharaoh> Question, is it ok if the floor is carpet? My floors are all carpet.
[07:17] <^KiwiKid^> Yes. So long as it is something hard that will provide some resistance.
[07:17] <^KiwiKid^> So unless it is very thick carpet, than definately. :)
[07:18] <^KiwiKid^> The preliminary section involves physical tension and relation of the body. In the elementary case, it is only of the limbs.
[07:20] <^KiwiKid^> All tensions should be made on inhale, and all relaxations on exhale. It is important to conduct a relation of the body to the breath in this case.
[07:20] <^KiwiKid^> The breath should also be natural, and uncontrolled.
[07:22] <^KiwiKid^> To tense the arms, on inhalation make a firm fist and extend the contraction up to the shoulder. Raise the arm a few inches from the floor. Then exhale and relax the arm back down to the floor.
[07:22] <^KiwiKid^> Repeat this first on the right arm, then on the left arm.
[07:22] * Rafnul has quit IRC (Ping timeout)
[07:23] <^KiwiKid^> With the legs, on inhale, point the toes towards your kneecap, tense the whole leg and again, raise it a few inches. Then relax it on exhale.
[07:23] <^KiwiKid^> Repeat it with the right leg and then the left leg.
[07:23] * Kendamu[EWG] has joined #vmeta
[07:24] <^KiwiKid^> The relaxation, it must be understood, must be sudden.
[07:24] <Pharaoh> sudden?
[07:24] <^KiwiKid^> The arm and leg must not gradually go to the ground, you must quickly and suddenly after the tension, let go.
[07:24] <^KiwiKid^> As such, it will fall quickly to the floor.
[07:24] <^KiwiKid^> This is the only way to achieve maximum relaxation through physical attention to the body.
[07:24] <^KiwiKid^> Understood?
[07:25] * Rafnul has joined #vmeta
[07:25] <Pharaoh> yes
[07:25] <^KiwiKid^> Ok.
[07:25] <Forga-go-go> kiwi: I'm just peaking in, but are you suggesting to stress the separate parts of the body and then relax in order to bring the focus to those points?
[07:26] <Forga-go-go> or are you talking about something else? :P
[07:26] <^KiwiKid^> Lol, not quite. I'm talking about shavasana, to get relaxation and enter trance states :p
[07:27] <Forga-go-go> oh oh oh, okay
[07:28] <^KiwiKid^> The final part of these inhalation and exhalation cycles, is to turn your attention to your muladhara (base of spine) and then on inhalation move up the spine and exhalation down the spine, while creating a melting sensation.
[07:28] <Forga-go-go> that is what I meant, aside the tranceness. The periodic relaxation of the body.
[07:28] <^KiwiKid^> You can repeat all of those as many time as you want. Though I'd recommend trying to get it with just one repetition, we do not want to have to rely on such things to relax the body, they are just tools to be used at first.
[07:29] <^KiwiKid^> Forga-go-go: Then indeed :p
[07:29] * Forga-go-go is now known as Forg|bed
[07:30] <^KiwiKid^> The final part of the elementary exercise is to turn attention to the arms and legs simultaneously and creating a sinking sensation in them, a pulling down into the floor. Yet it should only be mental, you should not physically try and push them down into the floor.
[07:30] <^KiwiKid^> you may do the sinking on exhalation, and nothing on inhalation if you want.
[07:31] <^KiwiKid^> At the same time you should try and cultivate a feeling that the floor is rising up, so you are sinking, and the floor is rising.
[07:31] <^KiwiKid^> At first, with such a feeling, the body may tense, relax it and gradually it will not do that.
[07:31] <^KiwiKid^> That later part should be repeated for the duration, continually focusing on the arms and legs sinking.
[07:32] <^KiwiKid^> Typically, the whole thing should be done for at least 10-15 minutes daily, for a week before going onto the advanced shavasana.

July 20, 2006, 10:10:12 PM
Reply #1

Darkflame

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I hate articles that are left in chatlog form, it's just so hard read. And so:

Kiwi's Ultimate Elementary Shavasana thingy!

Proper Shavasana can essentially be divided up into two parts, if not three. Elementary and advanced. Elementary should hopefully be done for 1 week before commencing advanced practice if one wants to get total benefits. Though one may skip to advanced straight away if they so wish.
Elementary practice is essentially relaxation of the body as one unit. While advanced practice is the relaxation of the body, split up into seperate units, so it is more complete.

Q: Why is relaxing the body part by part more difficult than relaxing the body as a whole?

A: It's not, however, the act of getting asana right and the correct weight feeling should be developed first, before directing conciousness into specific parts of the body which can effectively be damaging if done incorrectly and unprepared.

Shavasana means corpse pose, and has been called dead pose. These are quite suitable according to the dead like appearance that one can get. Shavasana is the key to trance like states given by the yogis, where they appear dead for days at a time, the body becomes cold primarily, breathing is slowed etc.

Q: How hard is it to come back to conciousness when you achieved Shavasana?

A: It is simple if one really wants. In deeper states one will go into a form of sleep, but one is always on the brink of conciousness. So one may not really want to

Q: Wait, so shavasana is essentially just relaxation?  what/where are the specific techniques used?

A: That's what I was going to explain, stuff that typically isn't gone into detail online anywhere from my knowledge. To the degree it should be at least. It is often overlooked.

You end up with a deep sleep, where you come in and out of knowing that you are sleeping. Yet you are always somewhat aware, it is a hard state to explain, but when you reach it you will know it for sure.
At that, there will be a lack of dreams or any such thing when you do it properly. You will, as it were, simply cease to be aware of any existance whatsoever.

Q: So aside from not rolling around too much at night, what are the benefits?

A: Typically when a person sleeps, one doesn't relax their body as much as they do in shavasana. So one still maintains stresses. One learns eventually, in the advanced stage, to bring on almost instant deep relaxation of the body, rather than going through the mental process of relaxation. The prana is transferred out of the body and into the internal organs, which maintains their health and proper functioning. The nervous system, due to the lack of movement etc, also is rested and rejuvenated
Typically, the minds tensions are held in the body, by releasing the tensions in the body through shavasana one releases the tensions in the mind indirectly. Most people cannot identify whether tensions started in the mind or body, through shavasana one can learn to see the difference.

Q: So pretty much due to everything resting rather than a few things, you'll feel more energetic because of it?

A: If you stretch appropriately afterwards, then yes. Otherwise, you will feel quite drowsy if stretching isn't done, because the prana still remains in the internal organs and is not distributed properly.

If that is all, I will go on to describe the elementary technique now.

First thing that must be done is assumption of the suitable asana. The asana is lying on your back upon the floor. The feet should be about 20 inches apart, and they should fall outwards. The arms should be at about 45 degree angles from the body, palms up (to avoid stimulus).
An important point of notice, is to check that the small of your back, is against the ground. If it is not, proper relaxation is near impossible. In which case, you will have to adjust your arms and posture, so that it is. The back naturally, should be straight. For someone with lower back pain, it may be productive at first to place some pillows under the knees, and perhaps neck and shoulder if needed. (If you do not need it, don't use it)
Shavasana can also be done on a bed etc, however, in practice it is better to do on the floor, as this allows maximum surrender to gravity, and teaches you to overcome the discomfort.

Q: Is it ok if the floor is carpet?

A: Yes. So long as it is something hard that will provide some resistance. So unless it is very thick carpet, than definately.

The preliminary section involves physical tension and relation of the body. In the elementary case, it is only of the limbs. All tensions should be made on inhale, and all relaxations on exhale. It is important to conduct a relation of the body to the breath in this case. The breath should also be natural, and uncontrolled.
To tense the arms, on inhalation make a firm fist and extend the contraction up to the shoulder. Raise the arm a few inches from the floor. Then exhale and relax the arm back down to the floor. Repeat this first on the right arm, then on the left arm.
With the legs, on inhale, point the toes towards your kneecap, tense the whole leg and again, raise it a few inches. Then relax it on exhale. Repeat it with the right leg and then the left leg.
The relaxation, it must be understood, must be sudden. The arm and leg must not gradually go to the ground, you must quickly and suddenly after the tension, let go. As such, it will fall quickly to the floor. This is the only way to achieve maximum relaxation through physical attention to the body.

The final part of these inhalation and exhalation cycles, is to turn your attention to your muladhara (base of spine) and then on inhalation move up the spine and exhalation down the spine, while creating a melting sensation.
You can repeat all of those as many time as you want. Though I'd recommend trying to get it with just one repetition, we do not want to have to rely on such things to relax the body, they are just tools to be used at first.

The final part of the elementary exercise is to turn attention to the arms and legs simultaneously and creating a sinking sensation in them, a pulling down into the floor. Yet it should only be mental, you should not physically try and push them down into the floor. You may do the sinking on exhalation, and nothing on inhalation if you want. At the same time you should try and cultivate a feeling that the floor is rising up, so you are sinking, and the floor is rising.
At first, with such a feeling, the body may tense, relax it and gradually it will not do that. That later part should be repeated for the duration, continually focusing on the arms and legs sinking.
Typically, the whole thing should be done for at least 10-15 minutes daily, for a week before going onto the advanced shavasana.

That is the elementary shavasana practice in it's entirety.

July 22, 2006, 12:07:41 PM
Reply #2

`Nazukarr

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Darkflame: Hah, that did make it a lot less annoying to read.
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July 23, 2006, 03:02:38 AM
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This actually a fine article, and hope to be able to use the techique to it's full potential some time in the future. Kiwi, could you tell me your sources so I can look in this techique a bit more. :biggrin: Any books or sources you would reccomend.
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December 01, 2008, 11:30:21 PM
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Dazza

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 I was just reading through this and was wondering was the advanced technique ever posted also? If not, I would definitely be interested in it:)

Edit: Answered in chat, cheers!
« Last Edit: December 07, 2008, 05:34:54 PM by Dazza »

October 24, 2010, 09:34:33 AM
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OrangeJuice

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When doing this technique is it best to take full deep breaths or more natural sized breaths?

November 26, 2012, 09:24:33 AM
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Dragoon2

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Natural, I believe. I don't really know, so correct me if I'm wrong.
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November 26, 2012, 08:03:11 PM
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The breathing should be natural, but it should also be slow and deep at first. That is, when first starting you should take deep breaths as you would in any meditation. This focuses the mind and relaxes the body. As you progress, and reach deeper mindstates, the breathing will become very slow and shallow on it's own, and thus natural. It isn't really one or the other, it's both. When you actually experience it, it will make sense. Just start off with deep breaths.

Also, it should be noted that the system of using tension to relax the body here is also very similar in concept to the Jacobson Progressive Muscle Relaxation technique in section 4 of my article, A Treatise on Self Hypnosis. That meditation could also be used to systematically relax the body while practicing Shavasana (also called Shivasana) as per this article.
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November 27, 2012, 07:37:35 AM
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