At the end of every class you will be invited to take a short nap. Is that what it’s for? To have a snooze? Great! We don’t get that at the gym… not officially anyway. While savasana is not an active pose for your muscles it has several important functions.
Savasana, which translates as corpse pose (nice, eh?) is done as follows:
- From laying on your back, spread your feet hip width apart and allow to fall open
- Arms by the sides, palms to the sky
- Head tilted slightly back to open the airways (jalandara bandha)
- Soft in the belly and permit the muscles to completely release
Your teacher may come and adjust you as sometimes getting the perfect alignment and stretch needs a bit of a tug. This creates space in the joints and the bone lubricant called sinovial fluid, that is produced during our practise, can easily drain away to avoid stiffness later on.
I like to do a body scan guided meditation as well to help my class bring their awareness to parts of their body they haven’t thought about that day. As the body cools down after a hot session it’s nice to slow the process to avoid aching in the muscles by keeping a blanket handy.
Savasana brings awareness back to the breath and refocusses the mind internally. The idea is to surrender yourself entirely, and although this may make some feel vulnerable at first, or even self conscious, it actually promotes self-confidence by having the courage to be so submissive around other people. As Abhinavagupta said of this pose:
“Abandon nothing. Take up nothing. Rest, abide in yourself, just as you are.”
It’s actually more difficult than it looks as as you try to permanently clear your mind and create a void of thoughts, it takes a great deal of effort at first to ensure that they don’t then pop back in to say hi.
Those that have mastered savasana will tell you that it feels like nothing. Which may sound odd, but if you are in the perfect position whereby you cannot feel pressure from your body on the floor, you are ignoring outside influence and your mind is still, there is nothing, a complete sense of stillness. Hence the name corpse pose.
If you’s like to master this, why not come along to my deep relaxation skillshop on 15/07/18 at the Village Hall? You will learn about stilling the mind, be treated to an extended savasana, yoga nidra and a sound bath. You can book online and also receive a goody bag.