We all have positions that we naturally assume because they feel good to us. It is no different in yoga. There are particular poses or asanas that feel wonderful on any given day.
The beauty of yoga, is that there is a pose available to every person at any given time in their life. Two of the easiest poses are positions we have taken naturally at one time in our life or another.
The first is savasana, also called the corpse pose. This is assumed after a yoga practice, when the body recovers from the workout. You lie flat on your back, legs a little further apart than hip-width, arms out at a gentle angle from our sides, palms up. This pose is considered to be one of great relaxation and recovery. Western medicine has studied the savasana and found it to be the fastest way for patients to recover from exercise and to lower both their heart rate and blood pressure.
The savasana pose is also used in a yoga nidra session during the portion of the guided meditation to access the theta brain wave state of being. This very simple, easily accessible pose can be done by just about everyone.
Following savasana however, is one of my favorite poses. Right after savasana your yoga instructor will tell you to roll over onto your side, usually the right side, which will open up the left nostril and calm the body. Alternatively, you may turn over to your left side where you will open up your right nostril and stimulate the body. Either side, it is called the fetal position.
It is in this position, with eyes still closed that I have a few moments to connect the yoga practice of mind and body connection with myself and my life. Every time I practice yoga I experience a greater understanding of myself, and during the fetal pose is when I get the greatest illuminations of discovery.
In the fetal position, while your eyes are still closed, you have that rare opportunity to choose how you will arise. All too often when we get out of the bed in the morning, we are responding to external stimuli, the alarm, the news, the voice of a loved one shouting that we have to get up.
Waking from the the mind-body connection of yoga during the fetal position gives us the chance to make an intention for our day, or to review the intention we made during our yoga practice and honor it during the day. This brief period of respite allows us to decide who it is who will emerge from the brief rest or sleep. What gifts will we take with us throughout the day? How can we best serve others? Ourselves? In the supported fetal position it is also easy to let go of thoughts and emotions that no longer serve us.
By being attentive to the fetal recovery position, we can truly experience a rebirth every time we practice yoga.
Yoga by Anna Langova