I’m only here for the savasana…except it’s the hardest pose in the entire series. I love savasana (corpse pose) because that’s where you really get to just relax and be in the moment. The problem is sometimes your mind can start wandering, thinking of great comebacks for an argument you had weeks ago or contemplating what you’re going to have for dinner. I’ll admit, I’ve ever fallen asleep a time or two (or five), but I generally assume that my body needed it, so no pressure, right?
Savasana truly is the most important pose. Not a lot of people realize this at first, but savasana increases body awareness and interoception (feeling and understanding what’s going on inside your body). It’s one of the best ways to calm the mind, reduce stress, curb fatigue, lower blood pressure, relieve headaches and improve sleep. Increased interoception has even been linked to reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Plus, you get that “yogic high” (I promise I’ll write about that soon.)
Though, why should you believe me when you can hear it directly from some of the coolest teachers in the business?
“There is a ton of research out there on how mindfulness and meditation can effect positive change in everything from anxiety and depression to pain management and mental focus. Savasana is our posture of meditation. We become mindful of our own breath. In a world where we are always asked to be in control, we relinquish it to just be in the present. At the start, it’s a bit weird or awkward, but then it starts to feel like eating chocolate — very, very good,” — Jessica Robertson, Modo Yoga co-founder (Costa Rica).
“It’s a time when there’s no rush to do anything. It’s that point where you feel like you’re floating, you’re not anchored by your thoughts or the things around you. It’s just freedom. It’s the kind of freedom you want to take and have all the time for the rest of your life,” — Dina Tsouluhas, (multi) studio owner (Montreal).
“Savasana is the moment when all bodies align with silence and all minds practice letting go. In those magical moments, it’s as if time is suspended and all beings are at peace in the room, no matter what’s happening outside. As a teacher, my favourite experience is when I get on my back, as space allows, to practice a fully-conscious savasana with the group — and miraculously opening my eyes just as the clock announces the end of class. It makes me smile every time,” — Antoine Pommet (Paris).
“Savasana is the bee’s knees. It’s when the nectar built up from our practice circulates all over our bodies and seeps into every part of our being. We learn to relax and feel the subtleties in this posture, which subsequently give us a greater sense for all other postures. Savasana is like your favourite sauce pouring all over your favourite (vegan) ice cream sundae,” — Karl Notargiovanni (Montreal).
“I remember my first Modo class. Realizing that there were three savasanas: stillness to begin, stillness in the middle and stillness to end. There was time and space to be — to be just as I was. Soft body breathing. Nothing I had to give out. Nothing I had to take in. It was incredibly powerful to get those touchstones, those moments of landing in the quiet of the pose. To let go entirely of any struggle, effort, gripping in my mind, body and heart. It is a refuge, a pose that asks nothing of us, a place to rest,” — Ezmy Stavroff (L.A.; Vancouver).
“The world is more and more rajasic. Life has sped up. It moves faster than ever. People have never been more distracted and it’s never been such a challenge to be present. Savasana is a tamasic posture. Your whole body is grounded into the earth. It slows life down. Taking time out of your day to practice savasana is like taking a vacation. It recharges you. It prepares you for the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It serves as an equalizer to a world spinning faster and faster. We’ve never needed it more,” — Matt Phippen (L.A.)
“Savasana is important because it allows all the energy you cultivated through practice to settle and integrate. It gives a moment of reprise to all those highly stimulated people — people rarely take a moment out of their day to be still and silent,” — Will Charbonneau (Montreal).
“Savasana allows us to absorb the practice. Ideally, after an hour of breath and movement, we are tired enough or open enough that we can reap all the benefits. I can go further and say when we let go of expectation of what it should feel like, we can tap into a place of just ‘being,'” — Valerie Verdier (New York).
What’s your favourite thing about savasana? Or if it’s a pose you struggle with, what inspires you to keep striving to be present?
Articles consulted for this blog post:
- Yoga Relaxation (savasana) decreases cardiac sympathovagal balance in hypertensive patients
- Benefits and importance of yoga in human life
- A study of the improvement of physical and mental health through yoga nidra
Want a private lesson or to sign up for the mailing list? Write to me in the comment box below!