What exactly is savasana (pronounced sha-vasana) and why is it so delicious?!
Savasana is the best part of a yoga class, it is the relaxation part at the end of a class where you get to lie down onto your back, close your eyes, breathe and relax.
Seemingly the easiest pose of all to master, letting go and relaxing and finding peace, calm and stillness on the inside can sometimes be extremely hard, despite the fact that the pose may look totally serene from the outside.
As the class comes to a close it can be easy to let your mind wander off to the rest of your day, but it is so important to keep your focused for those few last minutes to let yourself relax and let go.
The first challenge can be to let go of the physical tension in our bodies, often even though we think we are totally relaxed physically, it is not until we consciously divert our attention to an area that we realise that we are actually still holding tension here and need to actively let it go. The breath is a great tool to help us do this; inhaling and diverting the breath and awareness into specific parts of the body and exhaling as you let go, releasing and relaxing.
Once the body is relaxed, we can begin to quieten the mind, letting go of our thoughts and finding that quiet, calm space between the thoughts. That quiet, calm, peaceful space inside of you, that is always there regardless of what may be going on on the outside. That space to be you, without the incessant mind chatter. Daily life can be so busy that it can be hard to find and cultivate this peaceful space as a new yogi, but I promise it does get easier!
Apart from having a little lie down and relaxing, which is a most welcome break from our hectic lives anyway, savasana does have many other benefits too:
- Savasana settles and calms the mind which can help to reduce insomnia, headaches and fatigue
- Helps to relieve stress and mild depression. Stress is linked to many health problems, and learning to release tension is a very valuable life practice.
- Lowers blood pressure
- Helps to reap the benefits of your practice. When your body is relaxed, after a series of poses, your bodily functions and systems (like your immune and digestive system) become stimulated and revitalized. Your body needs that time to process and remember the information and the intelligence gained through each and every pose you worked on.
- Surrendering and self-acceptance. After a full yoga class of balancing, strengthening, bending and twisting, savasana is a surrender. Allowing your mind to take a break, surrendering to the present moment and just accepting yourself as you are. Finding the space to be you in the chaos that we live in.
Coming out of Savasana feels like coming back to life. As you deepen your breath and slowly resume the pace of every-day life again, notice how good it feels to be alive, and how those final, still, calm moments have not only allowed you to release any tension, but they have brought you back to yourself, leaving you feeling new, with a refreshed sense of energy for the rest of your day. Delicious!