Do Yoga! Easy as 1-2-3!

July 20, 2010 § 35 Comments

Or simple as do-re-mi
A-B-C, 1-2-3, baby you and me, girl

Yes, everyone can do yoga, even if you are the most inflexible person on the face of the planet. My favorite pose out of thousands of yoga poses is easily this:

Savasana
Corpse Pose
(shah-VAHS-anna)

Savasana is a pose of total relaxation, in which your body is in the most natural and neutral position.Β It is mostly used at the end of a yoga practice for the body to relax its muscles after usage and for the mind to savor the blissful moments of yoga. In our high-stress, fast-paced world today, everybody needs a little savasana now and then.

Benefits:

  • Calms the mind and eases stress
  • Relaxes the body
  • Reduces headaches, fatigue, and insomnia
  • Helps lower high blood pressure

Well, it definitely is not called “corpse pose” for no reason! In this position, you should be as limp as a dead person, your breath so still that you can barely hear it yourself, and your muscles so relaxed that you feel like your entire body is sinking to the floor beneath you.

How to:

  1. Lie down on a comfortable spot (duh). Make sure you got plenty of space around you so you don’t feel cramped.
  2. Check the alignment of your body. Make sure your legs are angled evenly in respect to the mid-line of your body, and let your feet fall naturally to either sides. Your pelvis should be resting lightly on the floor. With your hands, lift the the base of the skull away from your neck and and release the back of your neck towards your tailbone (you can use a folded towel to support your neck too).
  3. Let your shoulders, arms, and back relax. Imagine yourself sinking. If it helps, reach your arms toward the ceiling, perpendicular to the floor, to help broaden your back and shoulders. Then release back down. Rest the back of your hands gently on the floor and release any tension.

[Source: http://www.yogajournal.com/poses/482%5D

As simple as this pose may seem, it is harder than you thought. Sure, all you are doing really is lying on the floor in some sort of spread-eagle style, but willing your body for total relaxation is not such an easy task. After years and years of practice, I still struggle with Savasana. Sometimes my mind will be racing, thinking about what to wear for the day, what to eat for breakfast, and going through my mental to-do list. Sometimes my muscles are still contracting, subconsciously.

However, over the years I have developed a mental checklist before I delve into Savasana.

Step 1: After you’ve lied down on your back (as described above) and aligned yourself, take a few deep breaths. Inhale into your tummy, and exhale through your mouth. With each exhale imagine the tension and stress being released from your body.

Step 2: Starting from the top of your head, scan your body mentally to make sure every inch of you is relaxed.This is where it gets interesting, because what you think is a “relaxed” state isn’t really. Soften your forehead, your eyebrows, the root of your tongue, the wings of your nose, the channels of your inner ears, and the skin on your face. Let your eyeballs sink towards the back of your head, and give in entirely to gravity.

Step 3: Clear your mind as if you’re about to enter a deep slumber. But don’t fall asleep! It’s a tough trick to achieve the balance between falling asleep and maintaining an awaken mind. If thoughts arise in your head, don’t force it away. Instead, observe it as if you’re an outsider, and watch it subside. You’ll find that your thoughts are really like waves. They come and go, some large some small.

I like to do a little 5-min Savasana before I go to bed each night. Not only does it help me relax my entire body, it sort of “prepares” me for bed. Something like a “transition” from being awake to going to sleep. It tells my mind and body that it’s that time of the day to rest. I’m generally a very light sleeper, and I find that this little exercise before bed helps me fall into a deeper slumber 100% better! If I don’t do this pre-bed ritual, I’ll fall asleep but not be as rested.

+ Do you have a “pre-bed ritual” that you like to do?

After my Savasana of the morning, which follow my yoga practice, I needed some refueling to tackle the day. I’m glad to announce that Ms. Buddha Bowl is back! πŸ˜€

It’s a yogurt-cottage cheese banana soft-serve fruit bowl with french toast waffle sticks! Whew, long name. Okay, so from bottom to top:

  • ~ 2 tbsp plain nonfat yogurt (all that I had left 😦
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese
  • banana soft-serve using 3/4 of a medium banana
  • sliced fresh strawberries and fresh blueberries
  • French toast waffle sticks

For the french-toast waffle sticks I used Van’s Wheat free/Gluten free Blueberry Waffles. I cut them into strips and dunked them into an egg white mixture of about 1/4 cup egg whites, cinnamon, vanilla, and a splash of almond milk. I cooked them on a pan sprayed with butter spray till crispy and browned. Yumyumyum! πŸ˜€

The banana soft-serve + cottage cheese + yogurt combo made the perfect dipping sauce for the french toast waffle sticks!

I don’t usually take pictures of my lunch, since they’re usually leftovers from the night before. When I do have interesting lunches I always share! But for now…

Hi, my name is Elaine and I’m addicted to jam + cheese sandwiches.

I was totally going to make a kick-butt dinner tonight, but I got home late and my laziness settled in. I usually just want to whip up something quick ‘n’ easy when the clock is ticking close to 7 o’clock.

+ Do you have a time that is “too late” to make fancy dinner that requires alot of assembly, chopping, standing by the stove, etc?

Needless to say, roasted broccoli is the staple quickie dinner veggie (for me at least).

I also had some more leftover roasted butternut squash.

But what made the dinner interesting was this:

Some sort of eggplant roll-up? So I got the idea of rolling up eggplant from Jenny (who is a big MJ fan btw :-)). I wanted to roast some eggplant. But I also wanted to eat the tempeh I got last weekend. I also didn’t want cheese.

Please don’t judge me. I don’t know where I got the crazy lady idea of rolling the eggplant with tempeh.

I cut up some TJ’s 3 grain tempeh into bite-sized chunks and microwaved them till warm. I then put one little chunk in the middle of each slice of roasted eggplant, topped with TJ’s Garlic Marinara sauce, and rolled them up with more marinara sauce on top. Oh, and don’t forget that my dinner was doused in nutritional yeast.

Like I was saying, please don’t judge me. It was delish and satisfied my “tempeh-tooth.” I must admit that the first time I tried tempeh I was slightly taken aback by its pungent flavor. But I’ve come to love it! I love the grainy texture and the slightly nutty taste. It’s filling and high in protein too!

Before I go, I’ll leave you with this:

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a date with some crispy green seedless grapes.

Ciao~ πŸ˜€

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§ 35 Responses to Do Yoga! Easy as 1-2-3!

  • Crystal says:

    Savasana is definitely difficult. It is sooo hard for me to focus for more than a couple minutes on just laying there and relaxing. I usually get impatient and call it quits, but I am going to try to follow your instructions for it tonight and see if it helps me fall asleep quicker.

    Your dinner looks so so yummy! I have never had tempeh before, but it definitely looks good in your roll-up. πŸ™‚

  • teenagehealthfreak says:

    i love savasana. so amazing. I just think of a black wall first..then I some-what stop thinking. it’s hard your right. but very good for ya!! your buddha bowl of goodness looks greeatt! πŸ™‚

  • Leah @ Why Deprive? says:

    Savasana is more difficult than it seems its true! But I love it πŸ™‚

    I think your eggplant rollup looks delicious.

  • kbwood says:

    I MUST DO MORE YOGA ASAP!!
    i need to try hot yoga asap! haha and id never judge you for food appearance or ideas.. im such a foodie weirdo too!

  • mysweetseason says:

    I fell asleep during my corpse pose this morning hahaha I was so relaxed

  • Monet says:

    You are inspiring me to start practicing again. I need to get my butt in gear. Yoga has helped me so much in the past, and I have no excuse not to get back into the habit. And isn’t nutritional yeast amazing? I just discovered it and I’m sprinkling it on everything. Another great post, love! I’m so glad I found your blog.

  • kaztronomic says:

    I would love to practice yoga. I appreciate how descriptive you were in describing the Savasana. Just reading about it sounded so…soothing. And really makes me wish there were a nearby studio where I could learn!

    By the way — thanks again about the tip about Amazon Prime! After three failed trips to three different stores, I was convinced I’d never find a decent laptop. Luckily, I found one on Amazon for cheaper than the ones in the stores, and it should be here Thursday. I’m so exicted! πŸ˜€

  • Yoga is amazing. I ll have my yoga teacher diploma next month.

    Your dishes look yummy as always

  • Chelsea says:

    My favorite pose is Pigeon, I think cause my hips get so tight-savasana has always been really hard for me as well, especially at the end of my classes, I have a hard time relaxing, and usually skip it these days. Thanks for reminding us that its important to relax!
    ❀ Your food looks amazing!

  • I love the eggplant-tempeh rolls – they look great!! Cheese is so often the stuffing for eggplant roll-ups, but I think I prefer your way. And your breakfast looks killer, too.
    Thanks for the info on Savasahna! I was thinking to myself that maybe I should start doing that before bed, too – but I think I’d fall asleep! As it is…my pre-bed ritual is a bowl of cereal. Not quite some nice yoga, but oh well πŸ˜›
    (p.s. I got a little bit of a giggle out of the fact that you specifically did not want cheese in your eggplant after reading your last 10-cheeses post πŸ˜‰ )

  • I am seriously honored to be mentioned in your post, and loved seeing the J5 video πŸ˜‰ And the tempeh looks like a great addition to the eggplant roll-ups; yours are much better than my mom’s haha.

    Also I love that cat. Love it!

  • Kat says:

    I am trying to be a yoga lover, but I have a lot of problems with my wrists, so I cant do it for more than 25 minutes before they feel like they are going to snap. I bet I could do the corpse pose for a while tho!! πŸ˜‰

  • Wei-Wei says:

    I use a sort-of relaxation technique when I can’t sleep – I visualise every muscle in my body, starting from the toes, contracting and then releasing completely until my entire body relaxes. It doesn’t calm my mind, though. I’m bookmarking this technique πŸ™‚

    Wei-Wei

  • Lindsay says:

    I have the hardest time quieting my mind before bed. I usually just let it run and end up exhausted the next day. Thank you for the step by step approach. I’m a visual person so this rocks for me!

  • lisaou11 says:

    I often forget the mental and relaxation part of yoga—i always think about the stretches and poses but never think that the mental part is just as much a part of it as the physical!

  • Hey, thanks for the comment πŸ™‚

    I actually have fallen asleep in savasana… don’t judge, it was in a class I didn’t want to take but had no choice to attend, and the instructor had a very soporific voice!! It was a lovely nap, at least.

    ❀ ❀

  • Geni says:

    The kitty picture sold me on yoga. Never have been able to stretch or bend, but if kitty can do it, maybe I can too…also going to try the eggplant thingy. I have a new beautiful homegrown eggplant from my mom’s garden. Thanks!! πŸ™‚

  • I don’t have much of a pre-bed ritual other than unplugging for a little while if I can. And the bedroom is an electronics-free zone (with the exception of my alarm clock). It really helps me keep the idea that the bedroom is for relaxing and sleeping- nothing else!

  • Thank you so much for all those tips on the savasana pose! I always end my yoga sessions by lying down, but I never really thought about doing the pose correctly. My pre-bed ritual is reading a bit before bed. It helps to calm me down and make me tired!

    Your breakfast looks delicious. And I’m in LOVE with that bowl. But it’s pretty expensive, and then there’s shipping on top of that! 😦

  • Hey girl! Thanks for the comment you left on my blog, because it was how I was able to find yours, and I really enjoy your style, so I’ll be following along from now on πŸ™‚

    I’ve never really practiced yoga seriously, but it’s something I’d love to get into. I do a lot of the poses in my daily stretching routines, but I don’t know that much about them, and I could probably start paying more attention to make sure I’m doing them correctly. Savasana sounds like a perfect pose for me, since I’m constantly stressing about something and looking for ways to quieten my thoughts. I’m going to be trying this asap.

  • Megan says:

    Yaaay for yoga! It really does relax me and make me feel so at peace. Before bed I like to read blogs, then sit in bed and read! Also I am lovinggg those french toast waffle sticks. Definitely something I loved as a kid and need to re-introduce πŸ™‚

  • sophia says:

    OMG!! I used to eat jam + cheese sandwiches ALL THE TIME! People stared because they thought it was “weird”…but they never got that lovely sweet+ savory combos!

    I’ll fall asleep in that yoga pose…lol.

  • Broccoli is my “go-to lazy meal component” too! haha because I’m always in the mood for it πŸ˜€

    And I love going into Savasana. I’m always on the verge of sleeping but then it’s time to get up

  • actorsdiet says:

    i miss yoga class. gotta get back! every night before i go to bed i curl up with my doggie, put in my ear plugs, and think about everything i’m grateful for. i pretty much just list only a couple of things and am out like a light!

  • Michal says:

    Ahh I love yoga, and I miss it too. Last summer i did it almost every day and now im down to an hour and a half per week. Its an awesome hour though πŸ™‚ And rolled eggplant wrappys?? DEE-LISH!

  • […] to Tuesday’s, but minus the French toast waffle sticks and replaced with a toasted Ezekiel Sprouted Sesame Bread […]

  • […] did a full on Savasana the moment I stepped into the house. Whale-watching still did not happen, but it will, it will, I […]

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