Many yogis T-shirts are printed with the words ‘I’m here for Savasana’. The delicious relaxation at the end of the class. To the observer, Savasana or Corpse Pose looks easy. You’re just laying down as if you are sleeping right?
Whilst Savasana requires complete relaxation of the body and mind, it is in a way that is different to sleeping. You are relaxed, but you are also alert, connected and awake simultaneously.
Relaxing the body and mind
Savasana is often described as the most difficult yoga asana. It requires us to completely surrender, to let go of everything we are holding in the body and mind, which can be very difficult. It’s only when you turn your focus inwards and mentally scan the body for tension that you begin to notice all that you have been holding on to. For example, when I first started practicing Savasana, I noticed I was holding muscles in my hips and clenching my jaw. It wasn’t until my teacher guided me through a relaxation that I realised how much tension I was unconsciously holding. It had become habit and I didn’t even notice I was doing it. Now, with practice, I can scan my body throughout the day and ask- What am I holding that I don’t need to be right now? Why am I tense? How does holding this in my body help the situation? I also used to pinch my eyes shut to close them and needed to be reminded to relax my eyelids. I see this a lot in my classes, as well as seeing people frowning! It’s during Savasana that we can begin to see our ‘tension habits’. There are tiny details that without complete awareness and the intention to relax, can be easily lover looked.
Not to be skipped!
Often people feel that they can skip Savasana, that they have done the physical yoga exercises and they don’t have time to relax. This is often the biggest obstacle to overcome. As well as stretching and strengthening the body, yoga is a time to relax. If you don’t allow yourself this time at the end of a yoga practice, you probably don’t allow yourself time to relax properly off the mat either.
Recommended time in Savasana
It is recommended to spend 10-15 minutes in Savasana after asana practice. This gives the body time to ‘reset’ itself, to integrate all the movements of the practice into the body. It takes around 12 minutes for the brain to completely stop sending and receiving messages to the muscles and for complete relaxation to occur. When our bodies are in a completely relaxed state, the real magic can start to happen. The cells of the body have time to repair themselves. Our energy can be restored. The intelligence found in each of our bodies gets the chance to heal what needs to be healed. It is said that relaxing in Savasana for 1 hour has the same restorative benefits as 3 hours of sleep. It really is a powerful and healing practice, and one that can be practiced by everybody.
How to do it-
Lye down in a supine position on your mat.
Spread the legs apart slightly, so that the heels have a good distance between them. This allows the pelvis to be evenly balanced and gives the lower body the space it needs to relax.
Take the arms along side the body and turn your palms up towards the ceiling. Allow a bit of distance between your upturned palms and your body, so that the shoulder blades feel comfortable on the ground.
At this stage, if you really don’t feel comfortable, place a pillow underneath your head to support your neck. If you are very tight in your hamstrings, hips and lower back it is great to place a long cushion or bolster underneath your knees. It is important that you feel really comfortable before you go into relaxation.
Stay for 10-15 minutes. Let your natural breath guide you into a blissful state. Watch your breath, and with each exhale let go of tension in the body and mind. Allow your body to be really heavy and supported by the earth.
When to practice-
You can practice Savasana at any time. It’s particularly good after asana practice, as your body is more open from all of the movements of the practice and so it is often easier to relax.
But if you are too tired to practice yoga, or you are sick, this is the pose for you! Just 10 minutes in it will leave you feeling a lot more connected.
For more information about yoga classes in Palm Cove, Australia, click here.
If you would like any more information about this pose, or anything yoga, please contact us.
Thanks for reading,