Often, we hear teachers say that “Savasana is the most important part of yoga practice”. For many of us, savasana is just a chance for us to finally relax (and sleep) at the end of our yoga class. Sometimes, we might even skip it as we rush off to our next appointment. So why is it the most important pose?
Physical benefit: It creates balance in our body
After an energetic practice, savasana helps to bring our body back to our balanced state, as our temperature and heart rate return to normal. Exercise creates stress on our body and this may put us in a fight-or-flight state. By taking the time to relax after practice, it allows our body to release the tension and stress that we have held in, be it during the class or during the day. This also helps us to reap in the benefits of our practice, as our body takes the time to feel and absorb the physical, mental and spiritual effects of the different poses.
Mental benefit: It calms our mind
As we lay in stillness, it gives us the chance to clear our mind and focus on our breathing. In today’s busy world, how often do we really take the time to switch off and have some quiet time to ourselves? Sometimes, even as I flow through the yoga sequence, I find my mind wandering to random things like what shall I eat after class. Savasana allows us to quiet these thoughts, which in turn helps our central nervous system to calm down. This leads to better memory and less overall stress.
Spiritual benefit: It promotes spiritual awakening and awareness of higher consciousness
Also known as the “corpse pose”, some say that savasana brings the practitioner to a contemplation of death. “Although it might seem grim at first, meditating on death is actually one of the most uplifting and motivating spiritual practices, because it reminds us of what’s important in life – and of just how precious this human life is.”
In my opinion, savasana teaches us how to surrender and let go (perhaps, just like in death). We surrender our thoughts, our bodies, and our ego. For those few moments, we surrender fully and completely to the moment. To me, that is the first step to spiritual awakening.
To end off, here’s a quote by B.K.S. Iyengar from the Light on Yoga — “The stresses of modern day civilisation are a strain on the nerves for which Śavāsana is the best antidote”. With so much going on around us right now, maybe we should all take some time to keep calm and savasana~