Why Savasana?

Savasana is like Hawaiian pizza. Most people either love it or hate it. While this restful pose is pure bliss to some, it can be extremely challenging for others to settle into this deep conscious relaxation.

Physically, Savasana is an uncomplicated pose; however that simplicity doesn’t mean it’s easy. - Anna Coventry

Typically used to complete an asana practice, savasana or "corpse pose" is arguably one of the most important and underrated poses in yoga. Building in 5-10 minutes for savasana is worth reaping these benefits:

Physical Relaxation

Generally speaking, Savasana is an "anatomically neutral" shape, which is the position our bodies assume when no muscles are being activated. When we can allow our skeletal structure to be supported, our muscles can disengage and our body can completely relax and surrender. If physical limitations don't allow you to lay flat on the floor, props may be used to modify the pose. A bolster under the knees can ease low back discomfort, or a folded blanket under the head may allow the neck to find a deeper release. Studies have found that practicing Savasana regularly over a period of time can lower blood pressure, ease headaches, and combat fatigue and insomnia.

Mental Relaxation

We all know that the body and mind are connected. Countless studies have demonstrated the way the mind can impact the body, and the body can impact the mind. Our physical practice, or asana, is really just the gateway to finding peace in our minds. The Yoga Sutras state "Yogas chitta vritti nirodha", which translates to "Yoga is the cessation of fluctuations of the mind". When we are able to deeply relax and surrender in the physical body, our minds have a chance to rest as well.

Reduces Chronic Stress

Deep, conscious rest can also activate our "Relaxation Response". When we are stressed, our bodies unleash a flood of adrenaline as an evolutionary tool. Our heart rate quickens, our muscles tense up, and we jump into "Fight or Flight" mode. While this response is helpful is life-threatening situations, it can also be triggered by a tight deadline at work or a fight with a significant other. These situations are not diffused as quickly and we get stuck in this Stress Response. With regular, deep, conscious relaxation {savasana}, we are able to activate the Relaxation Response in the parasympathetic nervous system. The breath and heart rate slow down, muscles relax, and blood pressure drops. Over time, it gets easier to move from a place of stress to relaxation.

So next time you're in yoga class or practicing at home, notice and enjoy the full range of benefits this pose has to offer! Namaste <3

Renee Kennedy YogaComment