What is Savasana for?
'Sava…what!?' - I hear many new students say or assume that's what their internal monologue sounds like looking at their confused faces.
It is THE POSE most eagerly awaited by many, where you JUST GET TO LIE DOWN.
What is it and why do it?
Also known as the corpse pose - it is often the only moment of complete relaxation some of us allow ourselves during our busy days or weeks, where there is no TV playing in the background, we’re not scrolling through Facebook or playing CandyCrush on our phones, while telling ourselves that we are in fact 'resting'. You're mind is not likely to rest and restore fully if you keep stimulating it with sounds or pictures, even if it is not work-related.
Savasana to some, may look like a nice nap at the end of your yoga class but in reality it is a fully conscious pose that is practiced at the end of a yoga class for a reason.
It is believed the pose helps with mild depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, insomnia and headaches. The connection that is formed between your body and the floor helps you to feel grounded and may increase your confidence, energy and productivity.
In Savasana we try to relax the body and mind fully, yet stay awake. We consciously surrender to the moment - the moment that the last few minutes of a yoga class offer you, where there is NOTHING TO DO and NOWHERE TO GO.
For anyone struggling with mild anxiety, depression, low self-worth or battling with insecurities, spending 5 minutes a day in Savasana can be highly liberating. Think back to the last time you felt like you're not good enough and imagine how would you feel if you gave yourself just five minutes to stay present with what is, reminding yourself that you have nothing to prove to anyone, you can just be - the world will not end if you just let yourself be without doing anything.
So why at the end of the class?
To find yourself in a state of a full relaxation where you’re not following each and every unnecessary thought that visits your mind is quite a skill.
And often, if it’s not the mind disturbing your peace, it can be an itchy leg or back pain. This is why Savasana is usually the last posture of a yoga sequence.
By the end of the class you should feel tired enough to be able to just relax, without stiffness or tension. This then allows to fully absorb the benefits of the practice as you are given a moment to consciously relax the tired muscles, notice anything you are sensing, as well as enjoy the quieter state of mind.
The corpse pose is often described as the most difficult posture in yoga because the mind likes to resist deep relaxation.
Make the most of Savasana
To help yourself during Savasana it is good to put on any socks or layers to keep yourself warm, lie down comfortably and take one last inhale & loud exhale to initiate the releasing of the body into relaxation.
You can scan your body for any tension that is left in some places such as jaw, hips or forehead.
Once the body is fully relaxed, focus on just noticing what thoughts come to your mind, how frequent are they and what is your tendency like to follow them.
You can use your breath as the anchor - keep coming back to the sensations of the inhale and exhale when you notice yourself going with the flow of a thought that came up.