What is Savasana?
Savasana, or shavasana (Śavāsana), is a restorative asana that is a key component of yoga. It usually follows vinyasa or is practiced near the end of a yoga session. It is a pose of total relaxation - which for some makes it a very challenging pose.
To enter the pose, the body lies face-up on the ground. The legs are comfortably spread and the arms are relaxed alongside the body with the palms facing either up or down.
The term comes from the Sanskrit shava, meaning “corpse,” and asana, meaning “pose” or “posture.” The common English name for savasana is corpse pose.
Although savasana is typically practiced at the end of a yoga sequence, it can be used to calm the body at the beginning of practice or for resting in the middle of a sequence. At the end of a yoga session, seated meditation traditionally follows savasana.
This asana stimulates the muladhara (root) chakra, because the entire length of the body is connected with the earth. Energizing this chakra through savasana is believed to ground the individual, providing the inner stability necessary for personal growth.
Some of the benefits of savasana include:
- Increase in energy and productivity
- Decrease in anxiety and panic attacks
- Improved memory, focus and concentration
- Increased confidence
Here’s a step by step guide to the pose:
1. Lie down on your back. As you recline on your yoga mat, place your feet spread slightly apart from each other. Put your arms at your side with your palms facing up. Your fingers should be curled up naturally.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Breathe from your diaphragm, which is in your lower belly. Push out the muscles in your diaphragm as you inhale. Inhale for five counts. Then exhale for another five counts.
- Repeat the breathing sequence until you feel relaxed.
2. Relax your body. Tuck your shoulderblades in underneath you. Try to loosen your hips and pull you tailbone underneath you. Focus on the areas of your body that still holds some tightness, and guide yourself to let them go.
- Let go of any anxious, stressful or negative thoughts while you are performing this pose. Imagine your mind emptying like you are pouring water from a jug.
- Although you should try to relax your body all at once, don't feel pressure to rush into relaxation. Gradually breathe out and feel your body relax into the floor.
- There is no time limit for this pose. If you have completed 45-60 minutes of yoga exercises, try relaxing in the Savasana pose for 10 minutes to fully appreciate your session.
- It is not unusual to fall asleep in this pose, but make sure that you do not have an important meeting or event afterward. Set a timer on a phone or nearby clock if you have to stop by a certain time.
3. Recovering from the Pose / Reawaken your body. Begin by wiggling your toes and fingers. Open your eyes last.
- Imagine that you are opening up to a new body as you come out of the pose. Savasana should give you a sense of renewal and rebirth.
4. Hug your knees. Pull your knees into your chest, wrap your arms around them, and give them a squeeze.
- This pose is also meant to stretch out your muscles after your have tested them with a long yoga session. It is especially effective at protecting your knees from injury.
5. Roll out of the pose. Turn onto your right side. Then, slowly push yourself to an upright position using your right elbow.
- Maintain your breathing so you exhale as you push up onto your right elbow.
6. Finished.. Namaste🙏🏼🧘🏻♀️🕉
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine.
Please remember that small changes can have massive impact on how we think and feel - even if it seems too easy. With consistent practice and attention, positive results will follow. - Practice light yoga daily - whether it is a couple of minutes of meditation and 2-3 yoga poses - experience the results yourself :)