04 Jul Why is Savasana (corpse pose) so important?
In most yoga classes today, Savasana (or Shavasana) is known as the “final resting pose”. Classical hatha yoga or Sivananda also use it during the practice, for short breaks in between poses.
Though it may seem the easiest posture of all in comparison to advanced back bends, balancing poses or inversions, Savasana might actually be the most challenging for a lot of people.
The physical part of Savasana is indeed simple: you need to lie down on your back and close your eyes. But the hardest part is probably coming after a few seconds in the pose, when your monkey mind starts to kick in… At this point you need to focus on your breath and let your thoughts come and go without judgement. Easier said than done.
When we better understand the benefits of the corpse pose, we also understand better why it is so important to practice it and why it should not be considered as a “second class asana”. Actually, Savasana might be the most important moment of your yoga practice…
So back to the original question: why is it so important to practice Savasana?
1. To observe
One of the main purposes of Savasana is to allow ourselves to enjoy the benefits of our yoga practice. During those 5, 10 or even 15 minutes, we take the time to feel the sensations, to observe our blody. Is it more relaxed? Are the tensions still there? Is our mind calmer? How do we really feel?
2. To breath
Even if breathing is part of every aspect of yoga, one can easily loose focus while practicing advanced asanas. Savasana is then the perfect pose to come back to the breath as there is nothing else to do physically. Lying down, breathing, we nourish our body and mind.
3. To calm down
Savasana is one of the few moments in our lives where we are encouraged to slow down the pace. We spend our lives running, rushing, from metro to work and back to bed… Savasana allows us to calm down, relax, and take a few minutes just for us. Do not waste it thinking about what you will eat after the class or about the tasks that await you at your office the next day.
4. To clear your mind
We all experience mixed thoughts, emotions, fears, worries and hopes in our daily life. On certain days, it can even be a little overwhelming. After a good sweat, a good stretch and a good breath, you generally feel lighter and more focused. Savasana helps you enjoy this moment of clarity and stillness of mind right after your physical yoga practice.
5. To meditate
Meditation is an important part of yoga. But moving from intense physical practice to seated meditation can be difficult. Savasana can then serve as a transition to calm the body and mind in order to begin a meditation practice.
How to practice Savasana?
Lie on your back.
Let your legs and arms fall to the sides, naturally, the palms of your hands facing up.
Close your eyes, but keep them soft.
Start by breathing deeply and let your breathing become more subtle as you maintain the posture.
Let your breath guide you to the stillness of the body and mind.
After a few minutes, we recommend you wait for a signal from your body to tell you to get out of the pose.
Then you can start moving again, slowly and mindfully, from the extremities to the center of your body.
After a good savasana practice, you should feel rested and full of energy again!