Freeman tackles sleeping in shavasana

Shavasana is “more than wide awake,” Richard Freeman says in a blog post from earlier this month (posted while we were in Shasta).

You can check it out here.

In part, his answer includes this:

However, if you align the body correctly on the floor with the skin on the back of your head pulled up a little towards the crown, it will stretch the back line of the body and will give you a sense of vibrance falling back through the palate and this should keep you awake. The purpose of the corpse pose is to release extraneous energies and distractions in the body in order to enter a meditative state. And though it resembles deep sleep it is more than wide awake.

I try to remember that shavasana is the time to work on pratyhara, the withdrawal and control of the senses — something that should be primed if you’ve been focusing on your dristis. I rarely am primed that way, unfortunately. Too often, shavasana is when I start to let my guard down and the day ahead of me creeps in: what’s on tap at work, how bad the commute might be that day, whether I’ve practiced so long that I’m now in a hurry.

Falling asleep, as a result, is not exactly my problem. Although I’ve heard Tim Miller say that it is “sweet” when that happens.

Posted by Steve

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Two Ashtangis write about their practice and their teachers.

One thought on “Freeman tackles sleeping in shavasana”

  1. In Vedanta, a swami told me that in the state of deep sleep is going back to God. It restores the nervous system. Yet, we don’t get any smarter. Because we were in the sleep slate, we received the realaxtion, however, we are unable to advance in self knowledge as we would during seated meditation.

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