When I first started practicing yoga I had a strong dislike for Savasana (sha-va-sa-na). My mind would be racing with everything I had to do that day and I became fidgety and typically ended Savasana before I was supposed to. After all the movements of a yoga routine, I wanted to keep my momentum going and get started of my work right away. However, as my yoga practice has grown so has my love for Savasana. There are so many great benefits to the pose and I now love the minutes of silence and peace instead of dreading them.
Savasana is an amazing way to help ourselves de-stress. The pose helps to calm the mind and helps to relieve stress and even mild depression. By lying on the floor and not doing anything, our bodies are allowed to completely relax. This helps to reduce headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and even blood pressure (1).
By allowing our bodies to completely relax in this way we actually increase our energy and general productivity. We also decrease the amount of muscle tension we have, something that could have built up during the various asanas we just practiced (2). Decreasing this muscle tension means that we give our body time to recover from the physical stress of our practice and we release lactic acid buildup (3) which causes us to become sore.
Finally, lying down in Savasana helps us to experience self acceptance and peace. We connect to our breath (4) and just experience the different thoughts and feelings that might have been brought up during our physical practice. Instead of avoiding these feelings, we come to accept them as we lay down in complete stillness. During this time of reflection we have the opportunity to take everything we learned during our physical practice, including things we heard our teachers say, and we bring that into our daily lives (5). We allow ourselves a few minutes out of our busy lives to just be, to process everything that has happened during our class and see how we can apply that to our lives.
To practice Savasana:
Lie down on your back with your legs the width of the mat and your arms out at your sides. Let your feel fall out to the sides and let your palms face the sky. Tuck your chin slightly in to your chest so you have a long, straight spine. Close your eyes and just breathe. Similar to meditation, listen to the thoughts and feelings that arise, but don’t chase them. Do your best to stay calm and accept the feelings flowing through you without getting caught up in them. Stay for as long as you want, but try to at least lay in Savanasa for 2 full minutes.
What is your favorite part about Savasana?