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Savasana & the importance of being still

Students struggle with many of the yoga poses, particularly in a hot class but one of the biggest struggles students have, is being still and not moving. Savasana is also known as ‘Corpse’ pose as you quite literally allow yourself to die in order to be reborn again.

Getting into the pose

Before you lie back you may want to wipe yourself down with your towel so that the sensation of dripping sweat being itchy doesn’t distract you!

Lay on your back, with your legs out straight, let your feet flop out to the side. Place your arms away from your body, flat against the floor with your palms facing up. Your spine and head should be in a neutral position.

Release the tension in your body and try to let yourself sink into the floor. Think about everything softening, your limbs, your jaw, your tongue, the furrow between your eyes – let it all go.

Try not to fidget, let any distracting sensations wash over you and close your eyes.

Those with an impatient disposition don’t see the point in savasana and are eager to get out the class as quickly as possible.  But, savasana is a vital part of your practice as it:

  • Returns your cardiovascular circulation to normal
  • Slows your heart rate down and lowers blood pressure
  • Allows your body to relax and your temperature to return to normal
  • Teaches you to focus and still your mind
  • Helps you to de-stress
  • Provides you with a refreshed sense of energy

During the pose

Focus on your breath to start with to bring your attention inwards. It’s a balance of focusing but not trying too hard to control your breath.

Don’t get frustrated if your mind does wander, simply bring your attention back to your breath. You may find it helpful to count your inhalations and exhales – matching them equally. It shouldn’t be a huge effort though, remember you’re teaching yourself, both body and mind to truly relax!

As with all poses, you will improve over time as you learn to let go, relax and reconnect with yourself.

Coming out of the pose

Savasana is released by slowly deepening your breath, bringing movement back into your toes and fingers and then reaching your arms above your head. Stretch your whole body then bring your knees to your chest and roll over to your right side in a foetal position using your right arm as a rest. In your own time, slowly bring yourself up and take a seated position on your mat. View savasana as the reward following your yoga session – enjoy it for what it is – a moment to yourself with nothing to do but to be completely calm, relaxed and truly connected with yourself.