Savasana: “corpse pose,” a reclined posture in yoga (usually at the end of a class) focused on complete relaxation of the body and mind

Have you ever been in yoga class and found yourself tempted to skip out on savasana? Perhaps the thought of lying in stillness for a few minutes seems like a complete waste of time. Or maybe the challenge of fully relaxing the body and mind is just too overwhelming. If so, you are not alone. Contrary to how easy it looks, savasana is commonly considered one of the most difficult of the yoga postures. While many students feel fine bending, twisting, and balancing their way through a practice, this final relaxation pose is a whole different ball game. It can feel foreign, uncomfortable, and at times just downright excruciating.

Especially in the Western world, we tend to view yoga as an exercise routine. And while it is indeed a great movement practice for the physical body, the fact is that asana (the practice of the poses themselves) was actually created to prepare the body and mind for stillness…the main emphasis of yoga then being on meditation. And this is where the importance of savasana comes in. By consistently practicing savasana, you can learn to let go of the constant need for “doing” and embrace the art of “being.” And the good news is that, as with anything else, practice makes progress. The benefits that come along with this progress are numerous and just may make you rethink missing out next time.

Savasana:

  1. Allows for integration of your asana practice
  2. Settles the mind
  3. Relaxes the body
  4. Reduces blood pressure
  5. Balances out the central nervous system by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system “rest and digest” response and calming the sympathetic nervous system “fight, flight, or freeze” response
  6. Relieves stress and anxiety
  7. Improves concentration and memory
  8. Increases energy and productivity
  9. Provides a much needed break from the business of day-to-day life
  10. Lets you be with the breath and practice detachment from thought