Day 30 Savasana
The final pose of any yoga class is one of deep restoration: Corpse Pose, also sometimes called Final Relaxation Pose. Its Sanskrit name, “Savasana” comes from two words. The first is “Sava” (meaning “corpse”), and the second is “asana” (meaning “pose”). Savasana implies a depth of release that goes beyond simple relaxation. This resting pose takes your yoga practice to a place where you can completely let go.
Though it may seem like an easy pose, Savasana can actually be very tough to learn and practice well. The great yoga masters K. Pattabhi Jois and B.K.S. Iyengar even called Savasana the most difficult of all yoga poses. For many students, the ability to lie completely still — like a corpse — while being both fully aware of and unattached from the present moment takes much practice and patience. Unlike active, moving, and physically demanding poses, Savasana requires a conscious decision to release the mental chatter and surrender fully into a state of presence.
The Most Important Pose in Yoga
Many, if not most, yoga traditions and yoga teachers regard Savasana as the single most important pose of your practice. For one thing, it allows your body time to process the information and benefits received from the poses (“asanas”) and breathing exercises (“pranayama”). But the benefits of Savasana are much more than just physical — this pose enhances and renews the body, mind, and spirit.
Savasana is not nap time — you don’t actually fall asleep when practicing it. Instead, the idea is to remain present and aware for the complete duration of the pose. Doing so allows the mental chatter to settle, bringing your awareness even deeper into your innermost and highest state of consciousness. As you go deeper, you can begin to release the tangled knots of patterns (“samskaras”), emotions, and ideas that unconsciously guide your life — freeing you to become more whole and
complete in your true essence.
Through the process of practicing Savasana, you can begin to view your life with more clarity and new awareness. The rejuvenating and mind-clearing aspects of Savasana provide you with the tools to deal with stress and emotions
in your life off the mat.
Benefits of Savasana
Though it’s sometimes used to begin practice, Savasana is most often used to end practice to allow your body, mind, and spirit to fully relax and release tension. It’s a time to let lingering thoughts and worries fade away. From the depth and darkness of Savasana, you can be rejuvenated, refreshed, and reborn.
The deeply relaxing aspect of Savasana is known to be therapeutic for stress. When you’re under stress, your sympathetic nervous system produces a “fight or flight” response that can over-stimulate your mind and body, causing anxiety, fatigue, depression, and disease. Conversely, practicing Savasana stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system — known as the “rest and digest” response. Relaxing the physical body in Savasana has numerous benefits.
In addition to the mind-body benefits, Savasana is also a time during your practice when you can connect with your peaceful, innermost self. The word “yoga” is often translated as “union,” referring to the connection between your mind, body, and spirit. When you settle into Savasana and become aware of this connection, you are truly practicing yoga.