Savasana ( shavasana or corpse pose) is by definition the easiest of all asana to practice. And herein lies the irony. It is most difficult asana to practice. Maybe this post will be able to change that about your practice of savasana 🙂
Why do we do savasana ? There are plenty of reasons, each equally strong. As per hath yoga pradipika:
“Lying flat on the ground with the face upwards, in the manner of a dead body, is shavasana. It removes tiredness and enables the mind (and whole body) to relax.” Source : here.
This everyone knows, but then how is it different from taking a power nap? Well, because it is not easy to everyone to take power nap. There is tendency to drift over into deeper sleep cycle, which if done in middle of day, will (most of the time) disturb your sleep cycle. But savasana is what everyone can do and I will go out of the way to say, that it should be done by everyone. You can read about benefits here and here, but let me list them out in concise manner so that we can work out way to practice it in our busy life schedule.
Benefits of savasana
- It calms your mind. Magic ? No. Do you have to do something about it? NO!! That’s the main thing. You just have to be there and calmness will happen. Why? Because, like our body follows our mind, it works vice versa too. Once you stop moving your body, even for few minutes, slowly you breathing and then your mind will calm down.
- It relaxes your body. Obviously :). But let me say it again, it relaxes your body. Actual stress and tension related effects are countered as muscles are relaxed. When we have stress in our mind, it is also have physical effects on our body. These effects are one, when accumulated, creates lifestyle diseases. When our body is relaxed, it directly releases tension from our muscles and allows them to heal themselves.
- After asana practice, when you lie down in savasana, your body gets the benefits of asana practice you did. Yes, all the benefits that you read about asana practice, you get them most in savasana. Isn’t that great 🙂
And many more benefits can be listed out, but they are all derivative of points just mentioned. But why don’t we practice it on regular basis? Well because, though we see each activity as effort/benefit basis, when we see savasana, it makes us feel that we are doing nothing. And that is what makes all the twitching, adjustments, etc that keeps on happening as soon as savasana is practised in class. Even in personal practice, we tend to run our mind through errands that we plan to do later, when we should be just observing our breath to allow savasana to happen.
So, what can we do about it? From my experience (and many students ) best way and time to do it after your practice. Simply do not ignore or procrastinate. If you are not practicing then second best approach is to fix a time slot in your day and simply lie down and practice it for fixed time (10 min is good enough). If possible, then doing it after returning home and before socialising works great too.
Fact is that if you decide to practice, then finding a time and place is about being creative. And if you practice it for few weeks, then you won’t this post or any other post to tell you, how much difference this small practice can make in your life.