Angelina CalafioreSpecial to the Bonanza

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August 2, 2012
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Deepen your practice: The inward journey of Savasana

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. —In Svaroopa Yoga, we begin and end our classes in Savasana (Shav-aa-san-a). This is done first to calm the body and mind before beginning yoga and done again at the end of class to absorb the pranic energy and rid the body of toxins.A lot gets stirred up in your system during a practice of hatha yoga; the tissues of the muscles and digestive system in particular are cleansed of toxins. Without a period of rest after the practice, the toxins can go right back into the tissues from whence they came; rest is needed for some time to allow the body to filter the toxins out and ready them for disposal.This in itself rejuvenates the body, bringing freshness to it. It stops and even reverses the wear and tear of the body by which toxins build up and deplete the tissues, causing them to tire and age.

As the body becomes still the mind follows. The breath moves in and out rhythmically, it is even on the inflow and the outflow naturally without being manipulated it in anyway. The body begins to soften naturally as the breath soothes the brain and central nervous system.As the muscles release their hold the body starts to feel heavier and heavier. Just as the beautiful lotus blossom grows out from the murky waters of a lake, the stem rises above to bring the lotus to blossom in the sun. As we allow the stilling of the body to have an effect on the stilling of the mind, the spirit rises up out of the body’s contracted muscles and allows our inner radiance to come to the surface and we shine naturally with the bliss of awareness.

If you have ever participated in a Svaroopa class then you know firsthand how truly wonderful Savasana can be. As awareness rises out of the stillness, suddenly, you become aware of yourself lying in Savasana and breathing rhythmically, and the mind stops processing other thoughts naturally.You don’t have to work at it at all … if fact if you did, then you would never achieve this state of simple and complete awareness. When this does happen, one has successfully achieved a level of conscious deep awareness. Yoga calls it concentration.

Yogic concentration is to be fully conscious of what you are doing, while you are doing it. As your mind remains steady and focused, you are simply observing the experience without forming an opinion or having any thoughts about it; then comes another wonderful experience — the awareness of awareness. It could only be best explained as you observing you — observing you.You could go on and on this way; and this is what I mean when I talk about “the layers and dimensions of awareness.” The observer observing itself — I like to use the analogy that observing is like holding a mirror up to another mirror and one sees the reflection ad infinitum. The big question is where does it end? You will have to do more yoga to find out that answer for yourself!The next time you are in Savasana, try not trying at all. Just breathe in and out … in and out … as you follow your breath on an inward journey and let Savasana do the rest. — Angelina Calafiore, CMT, CYT ,is the owner/director of Serendipity Yoga Center for Health and Wellbeing in Incline Village. Her website is

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Aug 2, 2012 01:45PM Published Aug 2, 2012 01:44PM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.