Your Guide to: Yoga Asana — Savasana

 

Savasana or Corpse Pose is usually the final pose at the end of a Yoga class – the final relaxation and the accumulation of all the poses in a Yoga class.

Savasana is often considered to be the most difficult of all Yoga Asana (poses) and the most important. At the end of a Yoga Class the Yoga Teacher will invite you to get comfortable and warm to enter into Savasana.

In my Yoga While Travelling – Nike Training App review I mentioned that I like to add a 10–15 minute Savasana to the end of a 15 minute Yoga class that I do from the Nike Training App to make it more of a traditional Yoga class rather than just a workout.

This is how I teach Savasana and invite you to practice this Yoga Asana. 

Before entering into Savasana I like to invite my students to do a breath and relaxation exercise to help move into Savasana: 

  • lie on your Yoga Mat, facing upward — get comfortable and warm — maybe put a blanket over yourself and a blanket under your head
  • arms and legs are away from your body, your body is in a straight line
  • deeply inhale through your nose – hold this breath. Keep holding this breath and then quickly begin creating tension in your body…
  • starting at the feet – crunch your toes, tense your calves, thighs, clench your buttocks, muscles of the stomach, clench your hands into fists, create tension in your back, shoulders, neck. Finally screw-up your face…all while HOLDING THE BREATH
  • then RELEASE THE BREATH – RELEASE all the tension that you’ve created in your body and go back to your normal breathing…feel the tension release from your body.

Then repeat this exercise two more times.

On the third and final repetition hold the breath for as long as it feels comfortable for you to do so. HOLD, HOLD, HOLD THE BREATH — then RELEASE all the tension. Feel your body and your mind RELAX, feel the tension release. Go back to your normal breath…just be for a few moments.

Now stay where you are on your Yoga mat. Let’s move into Savasana for 10–15 minutes.

Moving into Savasana

You may want to use some props if you if experience any back pain or are pregnant – see Yoga Props and Contraindications below. You may also want to put on relaxing music.

  • again, lie on your Yoga mat, arms, legs away from your body – just relaxing
  • your eyes are closed
  • make sure your neck is relaxed and long, your shoulders haven’t creeped up toward your ears
  • your body is in a straight line
  • you’re just breathing naturally, not constricting the breath

Savasana is where we turn inward toward a meditative state of being, you’re entering the fifth limb of Yoga – Pratyahara.

  • don’t be hard on yourself if you find your mind wandering to different thoughts
  • your mind will wander, that’s its nature, bring attention back to your breathing, gently let go of the thoughts
  • you have no where else to be, nothing else to do at this moment in time – this time is yours just to be
  • feel your body and mind just be
  • continue to breathe, always bringing your focus back to your breath

After 10–15 minutes of Savasana begin to come back to consciousness.

  • start to bring movement back to your body — gently moving the fingers, toes, hands and feet —gently bringing your mind back
  • move your arms above your head and give ourselves a big stretch – like we’re just woken from the most relaxing, rejuvenating sleep
  • leaving the left arm on the floor above our head, we bring the right knee upward with the right foot on the floor – then gently roll over to our left side. Gently resting the left side of the face on the left arm. Staying lying on the left side for as long as needed. Then very slowly making your way into a seated position.

I invite students to create a mental imprint of how they feel after Savasana. Knowing that they can reach a point where both their body and mind are completely relaxed, they can bring themselves back to these feelings whenever needed.

Benefits of Savasana

  • helps to consciously relax both the body and mind
  • helps to balance and calm the nervous system
  • will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated

Yoga Props

  • Yoga mat or towel/s if you’re traveling and don’t have a mat
  • if you’re just doing Savasana and not other Yoga Asana (poses), you could just lie on a bed
  • bolster
  • blanket/s
  • cushions
  • pillows (if you don’t have a bolster)
  • eye cushion

Contraindications

  • Lower back: you may want to put either a bolster or pillow under you knees to relieve any discomfort in your lower back.
  • Pregnancy variation: either raise your head and chest on a bolster or pillows or lie on your side with the bolster or pillows between your legs and your head resting on a cushion or pillow. Please note that most Yoga Asanas (poses) have variations for pregnancy and I would strongly recommend that if pregnant you attend a Pregnancy Yoga class with a specialised Pre-Natal Yoga teacher. 

Finally, you can practice Savasana whenever you like, it doesn’t have to be after a Yoga class. Sometimes I just unroll my mat and “take a” Savasana for as long as feels good to me.

Namaste