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The Importance of Savasana: Why It is More Than Just a Resting Pose


A woman resting on her back
Savasana, also known as the Corpse Pose, is the final resting pose in yoga

The other day I heard about yoga classes where people are allowed to leave before Savasana and that even the instructor leaves! I was shocked! Is that even a yoga class? I have been to other fitness classes that were not yoga classes and ended with ‘relaxation’ at the end, and the instructor told people they could leave quietly then, but I never did. Why would you? It is the BEST part of the class in my opinion! Today I am going to talk about the importance of Savasana and why it is included in a yoga class.


Savasana, also known as the Corpse Pose, is the final resting pose in yoga. It involves lying down on your back with your arms and legs comfortably stretched out and relaxed. Although it may seem like a simple pose, Savasana is actually one of the most important poses in yoga. Savasana was developed to provide a space for practitioners to rest, restore, and rejuvenate physically, mentally, and spiritually. It is a vital component of yoga practice that promotes relaxation, mindfulness, and overall well-being. Here are some of the reasons why Savasana is so important. I also think it is the hardest AND easiest pose of them all.


Relaxation and Stress Relief

One of the primary benefits of Savasana is relaxation. In today's fast-paced and stressful world, many people are constantly on the go and rarely take time to slow down and relax. Savasana provides an opportunity to do just that, allowing the body and mind to release tension and enter a state of deep relaxation. This can be incredibly rejuvenating, helping to reduce stress, anxiety, and fatigue. Savasana should be about 10% of the total class length. So, if a class is 60 minutes long, then 6 minutes of it should be Savasana.


Integration

During a yoga practice, we may be working on different parts of our bodies or focusing on different aspects of our practice. We may be focusing on building strength, flexibility, or balance. Savasana allows us to integrate these physical and mental benefits, and to fully absorb the effects of our practice. It gives us the opportunity to absorb and process all the information and sensations from the practice. By taking this time to integrate, we can better understand and appreciate the benefits of our practice.



A yoga teacher adjusting someone in savasana
Savasana provides an opportunity to do just that, allowing the body and mind to release tension and enter a state of deep relaxation.

Meditation

Savasana is often described as a meditation in itself. By lying still and focusing on our breath, we are able to quiet the mind and enter a meditative state. When we lie still in Savasana, we become more aware of our thoughts and sensations, and can begin to observe them without judgment. This can help us develop greater self-awareness and insight, and ultimately lead to a greater sense of inner peace and clarity. This can be challenging for many people, especially those who are new to meditation. However, by practicing Savasana regularly, we can train our minds to become more still and focused, which can carry over into other areas of our lives. Our physical yoga practise is just one of the eight limbs of yoga itself. Meditation and stillness is another.


Self-Care


Savasana is an act of self-care. It is a time for us to prioritize our own well-being and take care of ourselves. In our modern world, we are constantly bombarded by stimuli that can trigger the sympathetic nervous system, leading to a state of fight or flight. Savasana, on the other hand, activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and relaxation. By doing so, it can help to bring the body back into a state of balance and ease. By lying still, we are able to lower our heart rate, decrease our blood pressure, and enter a state of deep relaxation. This can have a positive impact on our nervous system, which can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing in the body.



A woman resting in savasana in a lavender field
Release any muscular tension and let go of holding patterns.

Some tips for resting in Savasana


If you find it hard to remain still in savasana, here are some tips to help you relax:


  • Try just focussing on your breath and counting each inhale and exhale. Try to slow the breath down. See if you can resist the urge to fidget.

  • Place a bolster or rolled blanket under the knees to support the back. Or if you have sore shoulder, a folded towel or thin block under the head helps as well.

  • Lie down on your back with your legs extended and slightly apart, and your arms relaxed by your sides with palms facing up. Ensure that your body feels balanced and symmetrical, allowing the muscles to release any tension.

  • Begin by consciously relaxing each part of your body from head to toe. Bring awareness to your forehead, jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, hips, legs, and feet. Release any muscular tension and let go of holding patterns.

  • Let go of thoughts, worries, and mental chatter. Whenever your mind wanders, gently bring your focus back to the present moment and the sensations in your body. Cultivate a sense of mental stillness and spaciousness.


So, you can see why Savasana is much more than just lying down at the end of a yoga class. It is a powerful tool for relaxation, mindfulness, physical healing, nervous system balance, and integration. By making Savasana a regular part of your yoga practice, you can experience these benefits and cultivate a greater sense of peace and well-being in your life.

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