When I taught group fitness I was used to having people leave during (or before the stretches). However, now I teach yoga I find people fall into one of two camps. Those that only come for the savasana, [affilate link] and the ones that leave before savasana. Now this rarely happens at the Yoga Studio. But at the gym… well that’s a different story. I hear all the time that people think “savasana is boring”. Well, newsflash people, it’s THE most important yoga pose! There are so many benefits of savasana. In other words, if you’re skipping it, you are missing out. Big-time!
For many of us it’s hard to imagine that someone could give up savasana, but trust me it happens. We’re all individual and some of us are more visual/audio learners so I created this video for you below. Don’t forget to like, comment, subscribe, and share! For my reading/writing learners well… let’s continue.
Balancing benefits of Savasana
Our lives are already stressful enough. We constantly run from one thing to the next. We’re adding more and more onto our plates, but rarely removing things. Self-care it seems is something that’s often last on our list. Yoga gives us some time to relax, unwind and let go. And that includes savasana. By skipping out you’re saying you aren’t worth relaxation time. That your body doesn’t deserve to rest. Sometimes in class I’ll say “rest here. Taking a short while, to do, absolutely nothing…. except breathe. Now… is YOUR time”. Savasana is a way of surrendering to self care. One of the best benefits of savasana.
Laying in savasana gives our body the opportunity to rest, reset and recalibrate. One of physical benefits of savasana is that our body shifts into parasympathetic mode. This is the “rest and digest” system where tummies may rumble, blood pressure lowers and we can find possible relief from symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Can you even do absolutely nothing physically for more than a few minutes? Savasana is a time of letting go and stillness. Corpses, after all, don’t move! As you become aware of muscular tics and twitches, can you ignore them and let go? This is why savasana is an advanced yoga pose! Find comfort in the pose, be still, and allow yourself to surrender.
Savasana also gives us the opportunity to compare and contrast how the body feels at the beginning, and at the end of class. Body scans are a big part of my teaching practice. Another way is to notice the breath. What’s the quality of the breath? Deep? Shallow? Quick? Slow? What area’s of the body move with your breath? Using the breath as a form of meditative relaxation allowing us to let go and surrender the body to the breath.
It’s known as the hardest pose in yoga. Why? Because doing nothing physically is a struggle for many, and it’s when we’re still that the monkey mind begins. For the majority of us, letting go of the body, can often be easier than letting go of the mind. The thoughts that occupy us in the early stages of savasana are often the most infuriating. I liken it to having insomnia and telling yourself to “just fall asleep”. It never happens.
While it can be a time of surrendering and letting go, it’s also a great opportunity for doing a guided meditation practice. As I already mentioned, I personally love body scans for this. But, breath again can also be a way to bring our minds back to the present.
- First, notice the monkey mind jump from one thing to another.
- Observe the fluctuations.
- Acknowledge them.
- Thank them for the reminders, and move them along.
- Gradually, bring focus back on your breath and sink into it.
Surrender the body, the mind, the heart and the breath to resting and doing less. Savasana is the time to ride the tides of the mind. Observe what arises, release it and let it pass. Allow yourself to sink into that soft space where nothing resides.
One thing I struggled for a long time is riding the line between sleep and savasana. It’s tricky! Honestly, I still sometimes fall asleep in savasana. And that’s ok. Occasionally! If it’s happening all the time I’d say you need to look at your sleep patterns and work on getting more deep sleep. But once in a while? Not a big deal. And honestly when most of us are sleep deprived and over-stressed its not a shock that most of us struggle staying awake when laying down. Can you be ok with occasionally falling asleep? What’s wrong with giving in to what your body apparently needs? Is there negativity associated with self care?
On the flip side sometimes when people struggle to relax in savasana. perhaps a fear falling asleep and being ‘that person’ that’s snoring? Maybe there is a negative association to closing the eyes and withdrawing inwards? Or perhaps past trauma? By closing our eyes in stillness, we allow ourselves the experience of letting go. This means we are no longer be in control. For many of us, that’s a tough thing to accept. Savasana can for some be a a trigger. In the past, that’s something I have certainly struggled with. But meeting those feelings and thoughts means recognizing the work that needs to be done on yourself.
Death and Rebirth
Savasana literally means corpse pose. Corpses are lifeless, or dead. Therefore savasana could be said to signify the end of something. And perhaps, the beginning of another. Getting up from savasana should be like waking from a long delicious nap. You should feel relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated. Ready to continue with all the stressors and pressures of modern everyday life, but maybe with a more centered and grounded mindset. When emerging from the floor after savasana there should be a sense of lightness in body and mind. Personally, I often feel taller.
Philosophically savasana offers contemplation on life and death. We are alive in the practice of of asana beforehand, and then we become still. It offers us the realization that all we truly have is the present moment. If we’re willing to notice each precious breath. Each heartbeat. The magnificence of our physical body. The whirlpool of our thoughts. And allow it all to wash away, in the realization that what you really are is a spiritual being having a human experience. That this body will die, but your spirit will transcend the physical death. Where will you go then?
Are you ready to embrace savasana?
Many yoga teachers and home practitioners throw a brief savasana at the end of their practice. I admit I used to be the same. I didn’t appreciate the benefits. Now, I know better. In fact, sometimes my home practice is JUST a 20 minute savasana. We need to recognize that in the current culture of hustle and grind, resting is becoming important than ever! If you’re in class STAY for the savasana. If you’re at home practicing take time this week to add an extra 5-10 minutes to your savasana. Or heck even just do what I do and ONLY do savasana. Trust me it’s glorious. Are you ready to take the challenge to do less for your yoga practice? Because of the benefits of savasana, you’ll get so much more out of it!
- What do you think of savasana? Easy? Difficult?
- Do you struggle to relax?
- How long can you do nothing?
It’s so interesting. I love yoga and it’s good for mental health too. I appreciate your reading. I will try savasana soon for me. I hope it will give me some amazing results in the end. Thanks and keep up the good work!
yes yoga is great for mental health!
Loved this post. I am planning on doing a lot more Yoga over the next few weeks so this is really useful. Anything that helps me destress and keep calm is worth a go! 🙂
I have more videos on my youtube channel. Check them out! Plan on filming more tomorrow!
I love savasana. Sometimes I am able to settle into it easily, other times not so much. But I’m always better after.
Always better after! That’s the most important bit!
I haven’t tried Yoga before I’ve heard things about it from my friends. That is quite an interesting yoga pose and it’s benefits.
The simple looking ones are always the most tricky!
I never knew it had a name. I thought it was just a rest period you did at the end to finish with. But I do think it’s an important part
Oh heck yeah it has a name! Hence the t-shirt “it’s not lying down, it’s savasana!”. True story I’ve taken a savasana in my spare room (soon to be yoga room) and my husband has walked past and gone ‘what are you doing”? I’m like “savasana”. He’s all “it’s just lying down”. me: it’s YOGA!
Ooooooh I LOVE savasana! Who in their right mind would ever want to skip the best part of a yoga workout??? True story – a few weeks ago my daughter’s Junior troop did a “spa night” and when we got there to pick them up, the leaders were like “shhh!” and tiptoeing around, and all the girls were spread out on the floor doing savasana, and afterward they were all raving about it, and we’re like, you’re the same kids we can’t get to lie still at bedtime?!?
Hahahaha too funny re the kids.
Yep there are some people that skip this! I dunno. I just feel sad they are missing out.
I haven’t tried much yoga but think I would struggle with this pose. I know that it is actually mentioned in one of my favourite books – the main character love yoga but really struggles with this one.
Yep. The mind is the hardest part.
I have not tried Yoga, although a work colleague swears by it. It does seem like a good way to relax, especially now
Perfect time to try it!
At the end of the daily yoga app I use, there is 3 minutes of rest. I use that time to practice savasana. It is relaxing!
I’d advise minimum of 6-8. More if you can.
I think I really need to introduce yoga into my life, I do find it a struggle to completely relax and my mind is always racing from one thought to another x
Exactly what yoga is about!
I didn’t realise it was the hardest pose in yoga. Yoga seems like the perfect way to relax, especially during this time of uncertainty.
Exactly. This is why it’s hard right now to relax. We don’t get enough practice!
I am definitely ready to embrave savasana – especially in these stressful times. I didn’t realise all the benefits.
yay! So important to de-stress during times like this!
I have done a few yoga classes and found it so relaxing and let me feeling uplifted afterwards. I currently have issues with my back and hips following pregnancy but once I am able to I fully intend on taking these lessons back up so I will ask them about the savasana.
try the video/post I did on making savanna more comfortable. I think it’s especially important for Moms to get time to relax.
Sarah | Boo Roo and Tigger Too
Life is so busy that any opportunity to stop and relax the body should be grabbed with both hands. I’ll have to take a look into Savasana yoga.
We need it more and more right now.
I stay my on my house right now and I would love to try this savasana yoga I will save this post thank you!
For sure. It’s a great time to start practicing letting the mind go.
I’ve never heard of savasana before but anything that relaxes the mind and body sounds great, especially with everything going on at the moment x
Yep our minds need to let go of the anxiety and stress.
I never heard of Savasana before this. But I love anything that helps a person to relax especially with so much going on in the world.
Yep. We need to more relaxation right now. Especially the mind!
I was a bit uncomfortable the first few times I did savasana at a yoga class. But now, I love it! It’s such a great way to let my mind and body calm down at the end of the day.
Yes! It’s weird how sometimes it’s a struggle to let go.
I hadn’t heard of Savasana before. During this time of great uncertainty (and having the children off school for an unknown period of time) I think I will give it a go!
I’d prescribe every Mom 20 mins of savasana a day!
I started doing Ashtanga not long time ago, I love love love it….I had no idea savasana is that important, very very interesting…
I’d say it’s even more important when you’re doing a heavy physical practice like Ashtanga
It is awesome that you are able to use yoga to relax. Finding something that calms you is a great thing.
For sure. We all need that right now!