Practicing Savasana

Most of us have likely heard teachers in the past saying that Savasana can be one of the most challenging and beneficial poses in yoga.  But what does this mean?

Getting in to the pose is relatively simple.  Place your body in a neutral position while in a supine position on the mat.  Without getting in to the technical details of how the legs and arms should rest specifically, basically that’s it.

I’m sure most of us who are at the end of an Ashtanga series and exhale the last breath in Utplutith are ever so ready to reach that state of total relaxation for a period of time before we begin our day.  After a vigorous practice, total relaxation of the body can sometimes come pretty easy.  The muscles want to take a break and will usually cooperate when asked politely to relax.

However the mind can be much more turbulent.  This is the time when we may start to think about what we’re going to have for breakfast, or what errands we need to run today.  We may focus on sensations in the body without equanimity.  Stilling these hectic thoughts are as important as stilling the physical body.  During my personal Asana practice, while I’m flowing through the Ashtanga series, I usually feel mentally focused with my concentration on the pose itself, the flow creates an environment that forces the mind to be tamed.  However, as I begin this last pose, the mind is freed from that intense concentration.  Some suggest to find another point of concentration or a visualization to tame the mind.  Others may suggest to simply observe the passing thoughts without becoming attached to these thoughts.  While still others may suggest to observe the sensations present in the body with equanimity.  Trying any of these techniques will probably be acceptable, but the important thing is to remember that the time spent in Savasana is not to relax the body while planning your day.  It is a time to relax both the mind and the body.