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Left or Right Side after Shavasana?

 
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Lydia



Joined: 31 Jan 2007
Posts: 12
Location: Stouffville, Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:53 am    Post subject: Left or Right Side after Shavasana? Reply with quote

Hi all,

I hope someone will be able to help me with this...I read that it is
suggested to roll onto left side after shavasana in a Yin class. Do you
agree with this and if so, do you know the reason behind it,
physiologically or spiritually??? We are having a big discussion about
this on the Kripalu kin yoga list and have not come to a concensus.

Namaste,

Lydia
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1027
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:36 pm    Post subject: Left or right? Reply with quote

Hi Lydia

As far as I can tell there are two reasons we roll to our right after shavasana: one physical and the other energetic. Physically, it is felt that since the heart has a larger presence in the left side of the chest, rolling to the right places less pressure on it. While this is true, I doubt that this is a significant thing: I know I lie on my left side for long stretches of time at night when I sleep, and I don't feel this affects my heart in any way. Energetically, there is another explanation: the sinus reflex. If you lay on your right side you can open up the left nostril. That is in the Yin side: if you are finishing a Yang yoga practice, it is nice to balance the Yang energy in the body by opening the left nostril.

The same logic, when applied to a Yin Yoga practice, would suggest we roll to the left side after shavasana after a Yin Yoga class. That will help open the sun channel, the Yang nostril, which again will serve to balance the energies in the body.

It should be noted: to activate the sinus reflex by rolling to one side or the other, you may need to stretch the lower arm out, over your head, and use it as a pillow. I have not found the sinus reflex to be triggered without that. But, as in all things Yoga, you need to test this out and see what works for you. Notice which nostril you are breathing through now, and lay on that side for ~3 mins resting on that arm: see if the breath does switch.

Finally, you asked about a possible spiritual reason for this: I am not aware of any with the possible exception that the breath also has a spiritual influence: after a yang (Shiva) practice, you may want to invoke Shakti, and vice versa.

Cheers
Bernie
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