“Lie down, heels together, palms up. Close your eyes.” Your teacher has put you into your final Savasana. She turns out the lights and leaves the room. Do you:
A. Open your eyes immediately, hop up, hang up your mat, and flee the room?
B. Lie there for a few minutes, worrying about “to dos” still on your list?
C. Acknowledge the effort you just exuded and allow your breath to assist in clearing your head and calming your body?
D. All of the Above.
We are all guilty of D, but as part of our yoga practice the goal is to find ourselves engaged in C more often than not at class end. Savasana allows the body and mind to reset.
WHAT: Savasana (corpse pose) is often the most important and most difficult posture in a yoga practice. “Posture” you say? Yes, just as Triangle is a posture, so is Savasana, and it must be practiced consistently to reap its numerous benefits.
HOW: The alignment for Savasana is internal, focusing on stillness and single-pointed awareness, as opposed to a physical “feet here, arms here” arrangement. It challenges us to turn inward in order to relax the body, regulate the breath and focus the mind.
Practice calming the body – refrain from adjusting your clothes, wiping away sweat, or chugging the rest of your water. Instead, quietly get a sip of water if you need it and lie down on your back, keeping the eyes open so that you stay present mentally in the room.
WHEN: During our Hot Yoga class, Savasana is first introduced as a transition into the floor series. Use it to reconnect with your breath, slow your heart rate and let your muscles recover after the rigorous standing series. Try to repeat this same observance of Savasana as you return to this pose throughout the floor series and at the end of class.
WHY: Your practice has given the nervous system lots of new information, and Savasana allows the body integrate all it has done and experienced. It needs this time to pause before you reenter the busy world outside the yoga studio.
Calming the body and mind gets easier (and faster!) with practice. The more you practice this technique in the hot room, the easier it will become outside the room–even in stressful business meetings and traffic.
We understand the time pressures our students are under during their busy days, and we are always grateful that you make time to come practice with us. Savasana is part of your class experience.
Practice this posture with the same commitment you give the others. Give yourself this reward at the end of class. The mental “I did it” and time to breathe will give you even more energy for what is left on your plate whenever you do peel yourself off your mat.