It looks like the easiest pose, like a quick nap in the end of the yoga practice but nothing can be further from the truth. It is a conscious asana where you are fully awake and deeply relaxed at the same time. In Savasana, we absorb the benefits of the previous asanas and learn how to let go totally of our body and mind.
Learn How To Properly Relax
In the previous article we discussed the psoas muscle, the muscle of the soul, We learned that it is much more than a muscle in the mechanical mening with it’s connection to the primordial brain and its psychosomatic interactions. Dealing with a tight psoas, or hip flexor, is so much more than regular stretching, that can very well even make the problem worse if not done with awareness. The solution for a tight psoas is holistic. There is nothing to fix but there are plenty to understand about ourselves and the way we interact in our daily lives. The psoas is a valuable messenger of what is going on with us and the first step to learn how to listen closely is to learn how to relax deeply and this is what we practice in Savasana, the corps pose.
The Purpose Of Yoga Is To Become More Aware
Our aim in yoga is self realisation. By becoming more conscious and being able to hold a strong focus on what matters in life our path will be clear. One of the reasons for chronic stress, if not the biggest, is our inability to focus on what’s important and to stay in the present moment. The mind is distracted, it easily get invaded by everything around us we believe is important. A distracted mind is one of the obstacles for self realization. When we learn how to relax and let go completely we can allow the brain to rest and recover and we will have more space and energy to focus on the right thing. One thing at the time.
How To Practice Savasana
In Savasana the goal is to be in complete stillness for a period of 10-20 minutes. The best results will come if the Savansan is done during 20 minutes or even more. Many people find it extremely challenging to practice Savansana therefore starting with 10 minutes and adding on a few minutes each time can be a great way to proceed. A guided beginning of the Savansana practice is another way to teach the body to let go. By focusing on the breath and relaxing one body part at the time relaxation can slowly go deeper and deeper. Once you get used to it you will auto regulate by going back to paying attention to the breath when your mind starts to wander.
The trick is to be still without being a sleep. In Savasana the mind should be sharp but without thinking actively. We can not stop the thinking mind but we can disconnect ourselves from the thinking by watching our thoughts instead of interacting with them. Falling a sleep in Savasana is an indication of a dull mind which is another obstacle for self realization we are not going to cover in this article.
By positioning the body perfectly for rest and avoid movement we create the best possibility for little mental movement. Through the breath we can become the witness of our body and mind. However it’s now when we stop moving our body that the mind comes in the way. It is now when it becomes difficult. If you are having problems with relaxing in Savasana remember that it’s normal for the mind to resist. Don’t be surprised if the resistance is very strong. Our mind is wired to protect ans keep us safe and going deep can be uncomfortable.
Positioning Of The Body
As you can see on the big picture at the top the students are on their back with arm out in 30 dgr and legs spread math with apart. This is the traditional Savansana alignment in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. Another version with the heels together, as seen on the picture of BKS Iyengar, with feet together and toes falling out is easier when learning the skill to let go and to recognize if your are tensed or relaxed.
The Act Of Total Surrender
After we find the perfect alignment in Savasana the mind will seek to engage in anything like “Where did I park my car… to ” What shall we have for dinner.”.. and trail away in a chain of uninterrupted thoughts. The ability to detach from the thinking mind and to recognize where and if the body is tensed can be learned over time. It will take much practice and patience to train your brain to let go and to surrender completely. Savasana is a difficult asana but extremely important and equally important as the more physical asanas. Relaxation and steadiness shall be in perfect harmony for a balanced yoga practice and a balanced life.