The most challenging & beneficial of yoga poses, requiring the very least amount of body strain & discomfort, savasana is the fully conscious act of pure relaxation. In western and modernised yoga practice, savasana is usually squeezed into a 2 minute slot at the end of a class, if not completely skipped, while traditionally and ideally the pose should be held for 30 minutes.
While it is important to push & stretch & twist our bodies beyond their comfort zones to build strength and flexibility, it is equally (if not more) important to allow them to settle softly into themselves, relieving them of pain and tension. To consciously relax is to release & soften every part of our bodies from head to toe, and this is actually extremely challenging for most. But once you master it, which you’ll only do through practicing the pose daily, you’ll soon come to know how important it is.
Savasana which is literally known as the corpse pose requires us to lie flat on our backs, legs apart and palms facing upwards, as we are guided through the process of consciously softening and releasing every centimetre of our bodies one by one. Our guide may be our yoga instructor, a YouTube audio guide, or ideally when we’ve mastered the pose, ourselves.
The aim is to sink into the ground, switching from seeing and thinking to feeling and sensing, aware of our weight against the hard surface, effortlessly heavy, intensely light.
Every single one of us has within us an inner peace free from negativity and judgement where we have nowhere to go, nothing to do, no one to be. We may not always find it easy to access, but savasana leads the way and guides us safely and gently into our own little sanctuary.
“I didn’t want any flowers, I only wanted to lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty. How free it is, you have no idea how free.” (Sylvia Plath, Ariel)