There are thousands of poses in Yoga.
There are many different types of Yoga.
Yet Savasana is a pose that is in all the styles of yoga and is the one pose that most yoga classes will include ….why?
Savasana is a sanskrit word. Also spelled Shavasana.
It comes from two words – Sava (Shava) meaning corpse and asana meaning posture – literally meaning seat.
Savasana is translated as Corpse Pose.
Savasana is considered the final resting pose in a yoga practice. It is a key component in every Yoga tradition and for good reason.
The basic pose is a practitioner – lying on their back, with their arms and legs, slightly seperated in a relaxed position, with the palms of the hands facing upwards. The practitioner remains aware and rests. It is conscious surrender to what is – as it is.
Sometimes the mind can be very busy but that is ok. Watch your thoughts come and go and try not to get involved in the story of them. in order to do this you might label your thoughts – like ‘ thinking, remembering, planning etc or chose some this to focus on – like the breath.
If you do end up thinking and then realising that – it’s human- take a breath and begin again. This is a moment of awareness – which is a good thing!
That’s the practice.You will do this many, many times – and that’s ok.
Don’t be hard or judgmental on yourself – it’s not about having a clear mind but awareness of what is.
Savasana like every Yoga pose in your practice and it should be adapted to what is going on in your body.
Those with back problems can place support under their knees which relieves pressure on the lower back or they can lie on their side. Pregnant women should also lie on their left side with a pillow between their legs.
A lot of people skip Savasana when they practice, or they even leave yoga class at this pose – with the assumption that the practice is finished, there is nothing happening, therefore they should go as they are busy people. If you are one of these please read on…!
You might be one of many people whom are either super busy, or have an ‘A’ type driven personalities – who are just there for the work out. (& it’s totally ok to be an ‘A’ type personality!)
You also may be one of many people who are also just not sure of what the point of it is? and feel guilty, lying down – ‘doing nothing’.
You are really missing out by leaving out this pose and by leaving your practice early and here are some of the reasons why.
Savasana is a key pose as it is an integration phase – physically, mentally spiritually and energetically
If you are perhaps aren’t interested in ‘all that stuff’…. when you take Savasana from a purely physical point of view – it is still very important.
In a yoga practice or class – different target areas are worked – to strengthen, to lengthen and mobilise muscles and joints.
If you take any training regime – from weight lifting to running – rest is important. This is where the physical adaptations and integration for fitness occur. This is where the adaptations to get stronger, fitter, flexible and everything else happens – in the resting phase.
Savasana is the integration phase from all the physical work you have done in practice- to skip it means that you don’t receive the benefits of adaptation and integration from your physical work. So if you want to get the most from your workout – you are simply not doing that by skipping Savasana! So please don’t skip it!
Savasana is a pose which should be practiced for at least 5 minutes.
Savasana benefits can also include;
Deep relaxation. Calming the whole body and mind.
Calming of the sympathetic nervous system ( fight and flight mode).
Activation of the para sympathetic nervous system – the repair and regrowth system- necessary for Every human on the planet!- whether in full health – for optimisation of the body’s systems and prevention of illness – or to help deal with injuries, illness, stress and any disease.
Improved productivity, energy, mental focus, clarity, concentration, digestion, blood circulation, breathing, mood and memory.
Relief from stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, grief.
Meditative states can be developed- which also has many health benefits!
Yoga comes from the word Yuj meaning to connect, join or unite.
Yoga is not just about union but about things connecting with each other; your individual consciousness connecting with your inner self.
Yoga means union of body and mind.
This is what happens in Savasana – this is where the Yoga is. To integrate body and mind after practice.
The movement practice has prepared the body and mind for the stillness of Savasana. The fire of yang practice in movement and the receptivity of Yin in stillness.
Savasana is where the body mind integration and connection from the practice happens.
Energetically Savasana is a pose where Prana (Chi) can flow freely. Savasana is very grounding and cultivates inner connectivity.
Savasana is where you get to check in with your body and mind, to see how you are doing? Not just from the Yoga practice but also in life. It is a chance to just be, to relax with awareness.
If however you find that every time you practice – that you fall asleep in this pose – this is your body is telling you it that your body is exhausted and needs more sleep – so factor that in to your life. Get to bed early, make a good bed time routine, do not eat in the late evening and no technology 2 hours before bed – these will all help toward this goal.
Rest is also important – so if you are having problems sleeping- like you have insomnia, which is causing the tiredness – resting is important. Try Savasana at home and follow the advice above about a bed time routine.
There are many yoga practices and therefore you will come across different types of Savasana.
If you want to explore this aspect of your practice and learn how to just be, to get in touch with your body mind connection and to deeply rest – try a Restorative Yoga practice and this may also help with many aspects of your life – from insomnia, digestive issues, stress and anxiety and more!
Yoga Nidra is another yoga practice that you should also check out. Savasana is the main pose in this practice.
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