Savasana: The Most Important Yoga Pose
Savasana is an asana (posture) practised at the end of most yoga classes, certainly all of mine! Translating as “corpse pose”, it is a practice of relaxation and of letting go. It is our time to just be. That's it. Sounds simple right? Far from it – staying committed in the pose makes it very testing.
“Savasana is said to be the easiest asana to perform but the hardest to master. Whatever gymnastic demands the other asanas may make on your balance, strength or flexibility, the challenge of maintaining awareness without effort or exertion is perhaps the most revealing exploration of body-mind integration we can engage in.” (Yoga Anatomy, Leslie Kaminoff & Amy Matthews)
Benefits of Savasana:
- Increases energy
- Improves concentration
- Increases metabolism
- Improves the function of the immune system
- Decreases muscle fatigue
- Reduces stress
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces anxiety
The list goes on. In Savasana we feel the effects of our practice, experiencing a sense of openness and wholeness. It is arguably the most important pose of a yoga practice.
Lie on your back, legs out flat with feet about as wide as the mat. Rest your arms a few inches away from the sides of your body, palms face up, allowing the shoulders and the chest to relax open.
If you suffer with lower back pain, try bending your knees and bringing your feet flat on the mat, outside edges of the feet in line with the outer edges of the mat, and then let the knees fall in to each other. Alternatively, try rolling a blanket and placing it under the knees. The head and neck can also be supported with cushions and blankets.
Breathe naturally and notice the way the body feels against the mat. Using the exhales, let any tension begin to melt away. Notice the thoughts that pass through the mind as if you're watching waves roll onto the shore – aware of them, without being swept away. If you notice the mind wandering, gently bring it back to the breath and to the present moment.
“It's in Savasana, a beautiful place of silence and presence, that we get to soak up all the yumminess of our hard work on the mat.” (Yoga Girl, Rachel Brathen)