Conscious rest

Can you give yourself time to rest?

As in….leave the mobile phone, leave all screens off, turn off the radio and music and allow yourself to rest fully? I have noticed during my time in yoga classes and also during my time teaching, people will leave yoga before or during savasana. I am inviting you to take your savasana and to stay for the full yoga class.

First of all, what is savasana? Savasana translates to corpse pose in sanskrit. Savasana is the final resting pose at the end of yoga which invites the body, mind and spirit into stillness. Savasana involves laying flat on the mat, legs and arms long while you are on your spine. Alternative to laying on the mat is to find a comfortable sitting position or even child’s pose. It’s a final pose in your practice that invites stillness in the body and mind. I have noticed students touching phones and looking around in class during this part of practice. Certainly no judgement on my behalf! I have done the same thing! However, where you can, catch yourself and notice if you leave when it is time for savasana or start fidgeting or moving around.

Ask yourself – why?

I can understand the stillness and quiet in savasana can be confronting for many people. If you feel uncomfortable in savasana or find your mind wandering away, here are some ideas on what you can do:

  • Keep eyes open and look at the ceiling or the tip of your nose. Bring a soft gaze to be aware of your surroundings.
  • Alternatively, place an eye pillow, towel or blanket over your eyelids to remove light and gives your eyes a rest.
  • Start to count your inhale, pause, start to count your exhale, pause and repeat.
  • Scan your body from your feet to your crown and invite stillness and concious rest into your body, mind and spirit.

Why is savasana important?

Savasana helps to seal the yoga practice. A general yoga class you go to will have a bell curve. This is the general structure:

  • Meditation, breathing exercises, grounding, intention setting (5-8 minutes at the start of class)
  • Warm up (5 minutes)
  • Sun salutations and yoga flow (30 minutes)
  • Warm down (10 minutes)
  • Savasana (5-7 minutes)

There is a bell curve in terms of physical activity which also translates to energetic level. If you leave 3/4 of the way through the practice, you are leaving practice at a heightened state and potentially have not given your body the opportunity to return to a neutral resting state. Savasana gives the body the chance to reset, muscles to find a neutral position and integrate the physical part of the practice with the mental and spiritual part of the practice and bring union into your practice. Savasana helps to find homeostasis.

What the heck does homeostasis mean? It means balance. You can read more about homeostasis via Yoga Shala which breaks down homeostasis and yoga.

Savasana is conscious rest and not about having a nap. Although you can certainly have a quick nap! I know I have dozed off in savasana more than once.

Please note, nothing bad will happen if you leave practice without doing savasana! Everybody is different and I understand completely if you don’t feel good in savasana or have to rush to an appointment or find it too quiet/confronting – work with where you are on any given day.

If you regularly leave savasana and prefer the physical part of the practice – notice that. Ask yourself- why? What happens on the mat and how you respond to your practice is often a reflection of what happens off the mat. For example, it can be easier to give to your practice and lean into the physical practice. However, to not allow conscious rest on the mat in savasana can also potentially mean off the mat in the world you are constantly giving. This is really beautiful! The ability to give constantly…however on par with this is the ability to receive. Savasana gives the opportunity to receive stillness and receive the benefits of your effort, intention and commitment on the mat to enable you to nourish yourself and show up fully when you leave the mat. Refreshed and renewed. πŸ™‚

Food for thought and an invitation to take your savasana and concious rest.

Yours in a relaxing, supportive and nourishing savasana!

Roxy xo

Image by Anton Shuvalov, Unsplash.

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