PRIMER OF UNIVERSAL HEALING
( By Dr Ramesh Kapadia )

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Shavasana

The technique of Shavasana, as practised in the program of Dr. Dean Ornish, is one evolved by Swami Satchidanandji settled in Virgina, U.S.A. He is a disciple of Swami Shivanand. Shavasana has been practised from the days of yore in different ways. It has been considered the king of asanas. Physical and mental relaxation achieved by shavasana has no peer. In other words, in Shavasana, ideal relaxation is achieved. There is of late a great resurgence of interest in relaxation that is achieved by shavasana. This relaxation is now quantifiable. It is uniformly noted that when an individual achieves this relaxation, slow rhythmic alpha activity is recorded from the frontal lobe of the brain of the participant. Various chemical changes occurring in the body promote healing by increasing the immune status of the individual. The technique of havasana as shown by Satchidanadji is extremely simple and effective.

He observed that stretching of muscle groups of the body prior to relaxation achieves a very ideal level of relaxation, and stretching has to be optimal. In other words, a delightful experience of stretching a group of muscles is to be felt by the participants by bringing awareness on to the group of muscles being stretched. Indeed, bringing of awareness to the present, that is, to the process of stretching, is of vital importance. As emphasised elsewhere in this book while we are awake most of our awareness is in the past or the future and the experience has shown that the stress is maximum when the awareness is in the past or the future.

Each group of muscles is stretched and relaxed from foot to head, keeping the awareness on the muscles which are being stretched and relaxed. A detailed step-by-step stretching and relaxation exercise leads to progressive deep relaxation, that is shavasana.

It is one thing to be carried to an endless life, another thing to embrace the whole presence of an endless life together, which is manifestly proper to the divine Mind.


Boethius
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