Savasana is one of the most delicious yoga poses in my personal practice. It is the dessert of your asana practice, the warm cafezito in the afternoon, the best way to end a yoga class. Often despised by the ultra fast paced type A yogi and also misunderstood by many, savasana is a very important asana as it helps us realize how integrated mind and body are after pranayama and asana. According to B.K.S. Iyengar, “By remaining motionless for some time and keeping the mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax. This conscious relaxation invigorates and refreshes both body and mind.” The relevance of non doing in our constant busy lives is extremely important since everything in nature thrives on the balance between action and relaxation. Laying flat on the ground after a stressful situation, after a strong yoga practice or after a full day will help you quiet the mind, reset the body and connect them both so you can once again feel whole.
Here are some of the main benefits of savasana:
“Quiets the mind”
“Decreases blood pressure”
“Helps relieve headache”
“Reduces symptoms of depression”
“Improves the way we react to stress”
“Helps us focus on the present”
“Decreases metabolic rate”
“Increases focus and concentration”
“Reduces frequency of panic attacks”
In savasana, we learn to surrender, allowing life to flow through as we observe in pure relaxation and without any judgement. From savasana we learn to take a step back before making decisions, we learn the importance of resting muscles and mind, we take the time to tone down what is happening on our surroundings so we can dive deep within and really observe all that is happening to ourselves, body and mind. During the time we are laying still, we can also learn to accept what is, to accept our bodies, to be at peace with ourselves, to be grateful for the heartbeat we can feel in our chest.
As much as we see savasana as an easy pose from the outside – since we are not balancing on our thumbs or holding our feet behind our ears – from Iyengar to my own teacher Surendran Pandaran and many more people in between, myself included, there’s an agreement on how difficult this pose truly is. It takes practice and ability to find the perfect placement for the body. It takes practice and patience to achieve full mental relaxation. It takes understanding and self love to be able to surrender, to let go, to just be.
But when we do, when we learn how to relax in awareness, we create the most beautiful tool that shows us so much about ourselves and our surroundings. A tool that is free, with no side effects and it can be used on any given day by any and every body. When the body finds no resistance and the mind finds silence, the heart can take flight.
Originally written for Today’s Yoga Magazine