Shashankasana is a reasonably simple asana yet it gives many benefits. Most people have very stiff backs. Shashankasana stretches the back muscles and separates the individual vertebrae from each other. This releases pressure on the discs that keep the vertebrae apart. Often nerve connections emanating from the spinal cord are squeezed by these discs giving rise to various forms of backache and sciatica. The separation of the discs during shashankasana helps to relieve these pains and encourage the discs to resume their correct locations. The stretch imparted to the back muscles removes sluggish and depleted blood. On completing the asana fresh blood is soaked up into the muscles in the same way that water is absorbed by a sponge. This regenerates both the back muscles and the all important spinal nerves.
The deep breathing in the final position applies a gentle yet powerful massage to the abdominal organs. As such this asana is very useful in helping to remove and prevent various abdominal disorders such as constipation and indigestion.
This asana tones the pelvic organs and is found beneficial in alleviating sexual disorders. Women will find this asana advantageous.
All of us become angry. It takes a mere second to feel anger but far longer to regain normality. Deep and slow breathing helps to calm anger. Shashankasana induces this and quickly brings about relaxation. Breath awareness accentuates this process by withdrawing our thoughts away from the cause of our anger. The by-product of emotional upsets such as anger is over-stimulation of the adrenal glands. These two glands inject adrenaline directly into the bloodstream causing overactivity of the bodily functions and stress. Shashankasana regulates these organs, helping to bring about a relaxed mind and body.
This is a very comfortable asana. In fact it is so comfortable that we know of some people who can sleep in this pose and often do.
VARIATIONS OF SHASHANKASANA
There are other forms of shashankasana. The most useful are the following:
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