Travel Off the Beaten Path

In Search of Savasana


Savasana, as many know, means corpse pose in Sanskrit (sava= corpse, asana=pose).  It is the pose most commonly used to end an asana practice.  It is “intended” to be the ultimate relaxation pose, from which we are meant to arise feeling rejuvenated in mind, body and spirit.   Yet, how many of you out there have put your bodies into savasana and felt anything but relaxed and mindful?   I definitely relate to this and know of many of my students who can as well.

So my question is what is savasana about really?  What is more important:  the position of the body or the alignment of the mind with the body?

If you look at the definition of Savasana in Wikipedia or on the Yoga Journal there are thorough and well written descriptions on how to get your body in the “traditional” savasana position.   Often times you will hear the direction to place arms and legs at a 45 degree angle from the center line, heels together, toes relaxed apart and so on.  But again, when you do this with your body do you feel like you are in your most relaxing position?  Not necessarily…

For far too longI have felt I was trying to squeeze my body into a cookie cutter shape called savasana…

I have tried…and tried…and tried some more to place my body exactly as various teachers have described to me.    I understand they are trying to align my body for optimal energy flow through my body, but what if this results in tension, mental and physical to hold a position?  For far too long I have felt that I was trying to squeeze my body into a cookie cutter shape called “savasana”…why?  For what purpose?

Now what? That at least is the question that had been buzzing through my mind.  Something had to change for me to find savasana, the pose of ultimate relaxation.

b2ap3_thumbnail_InSearchofSavasana2Then, of course, as I am ending a class and guiding to my students into savasana it hit me like a freight train.  Who says your savasana pose has to look any way in particular.  The goal and purpose of the pose is relaxation, both internal and external.  It is a time for the body to take what has been infused into it during the practice and do something productive with that information.  So perhaps it is time to let go of our “traditional” definitions of savasana; isn’t that what we are supposed to be doing anyway – letting go?

So next time you find yourself “setting up” savasana and your body and mind are fighting it – try something different.  Shake out your limbs…wiggle your bum…sway your shoulders…roll your head back and forth a little.  See where body ends up.  Then breath and notice.  Notice where you are still holding…holding onto energy, tightness, emotion, stuff…and breath into that space that distracts.  And as you exhale, imagine that distraction deflating as a sail with no wind.

b2ap3_thumbnail_InSearchofSavasa1_20141001-153647_1Be Curious.  Be Adventurous.  It is your body your practice! 

Let me know what you find on your little adventure with savasana!  #InSearchof Savasana  !

And always remember, every time you step on your mat it will be a new adventure!



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