The final pose of any yoga class, (or if you take my class, also the beginning :) ), is one of deep restoration: Corpse Pose, also called Final Relaxation Pose. Its Sanskrit name, “Savasana” (shah-VAHS-uh-nuh), comes from two words. The first is “Sava” (meaning “corpse”), and the second is “asana” (meaning “pose”). Savasana implies a depth of release that goes beyond simple relaxation. This resting pose takes your yoga practice to a place where you can completely let go. Though it may seem like an easy pose, Savasana can actually be very tough to learn and practice well. The great yoga masters K. Pattabhi Jois and B.K.S. Iyengar even called Savasana the most difficult of all yoga poses. For many students, the ability to lie completely still — like a corpse — while being both fully aware of and unattached from the present moment takes much practice and patience. Unlike active, moving, and physically demanding poses, Savasana requires a conscious decision to release the mental chatter and surrender fully into a state of presence.huu
The Most Important Pose in Yoga
Many, if not most, yoga traditions and yoga teachers regard Savasana as the single most important pose of your practice. It allows your body time to process the information and benefits received from the poses (“asanas”) and breathing exercises (“pranayama”). The entire class/practice is preparing your body, for Savasana. The benefits of Savasana are much more than just physical — this pose enhances and renews the body, mind, and spirit.
Savasana is not nap time — you don’t actually fall asleep when practicing it (or you should try not to). Instead, the idea is to remain present and aware for the complete duration of the pose. Just like everything else in Yoga, this is a constant, and continuous "practice". Doing so allows the mental chatter to settle, bringing your awareness even deeper into your highest state of consciousness. As you go deeper, you can begin to release the tangled knots of patterns (“samskaras”), emotions, and ideas that unconsciously guide your life.
Through the process of practicing Savasana, you can begin to view your life with more clarity and new awareness. The rejuvenating and mind-clearing aspects of Savasana provide you with the tools to deal with stress and emotions in your life off the mat.
In addition to the mind-body benefits, Savasana is also a time during your practice when you can connect with your peaceful, innermost self. The word “yoga” is often translated as “union,” referring to the connection between your mind, body, and spirit. When you settle into Savasana and become aware of this connection, you are truly practicing yoga.
Just a few of the benefits of Savasana:
⦁ Heightened self-confidence⦁ Clear-headedness and a sense of focus ⦁ Improved concentration and memory ⦁ Increased productivity ⦁ Increased overall energy levels ⦁ Relief from anxiety and panic attacks ⦁ Reduced nervous tension ⦁ Relief from fatigue and insomnia ⦁ Reduced occurrence of headaches The physical response can further result in:⦁ Decreased metabolic rate⦁ Decreased muscle tension ⦁ Slowed rate of respiration ⦁ A decreased heart rate ⦁ Lowered blood pressure
Savasana is where people are most likely to experience the meaning of yoga… You lie there and look dead, but as you relax and sink into the feeling of the energy that is being you, it literally feels like you come to life again.