Do You Savasana?
We have all been in a yoga class where the instructor cues that time for Savasana/Corpse Pose and you spot a student or two rolling up their mat and making a beeline for the quickest exit.
Many students of yoga find freedom in the flow of movement. They come to class expecting to work their muscles, sweat and turn off the chatter that can disappear when they move with their breath and challenge their bodies. They are there to build muscle, increase flexibility and feel good. However when the end of class arrives and it is time for relaxation they are done, time to get on with their day. Why waste time resting, they can do that on the couch watching tv, reading or sleeping, right? Well, actually, no. Savasana is one of the most important poses in a yoga practice, as well at times, one of the most challenging.
Here’s why to Savasana: Savasana pronounced shah-vahs-anna is a restorative pose that rejuvenates the body and mind. After working, stretching, twisting and inverting, this pose brings everything back into balance. It has numerous physiological benefits that many of the more active poses do not offer. Savasana relieves stress and lowers blood pressure. It also decreases heart rate, respiration, muscle tension and fatigue. It increases energy levels, concentration and focus.
So at the end of your next yoga class when you are ready to make a run for it, pause and make the decision to do Savasana.
Here’s how to Savasana: Lay down in a neutral position. Legs are almost as wide as the mat, toes fall out to the side. Allow the legs to be heavy. Release your arms alongside your body, at about a 45-degree angle, palms face up, shoulder blades are resting evenly on the earth. Spread through the collarbones and keep the neck long, back of head pressing gently into the mat. Close the eyes and let go of any control of the breath. Soften all your muscles. Allow the front body to relax into the back body and feel the back body relax into the earth. Separate the biting surfaces of the teeth, relaxing the jaw, tongue and lips, soften the forehead and face. Don’t try to relax - simply allow yourself to.
You want to be completely comfortable. If the lower back is sore, place a bolster or blanket under the knees. If you feel chilly, cover yourself with a blanket. An eye pillow can be used to block out any light and apply a bit of pressure around the eyes releasing tension. Just like anything else, the more you do Savasana, the easier it will become.
Lisa Barkin is a committed instructor who creates a feeling of well-being and empowerment in sincere, natural and authentic yoga classes. You can find her at Spynga South Monday and Wednesday mornings and Tuesday and Thursday evenings as well at Spynga North Thursday mornings. For more information on Lisa or to contact Lisa please go to her website www.lisabarkinyoga.com