Savasana - some people live for it, some people loathe it, and some people simply do not get why they are being made to lay on the floor for what seems like forever at the end of their Yoga class. Whatever group you fall into, my question is this: Do you really know WHY we do Savasana at the end of class?? Keep reading to learn more about the reasoning and benefits behind this seemingly simple pose.
Savasana allows your body and mind to return to "neutral"
While you are laying in Savasana you are being directed to release and relax both body and mind. The goal is to allow your body - heart rate, temperature, blood pressure - to come back to it's neutral state before you leave the room and continue with the rest of your day.
Savasana allows to body to fully reap the benefits of your practice
The idea is, while laying in savasana after a practice, your body is able to integrate any changes that may have occured because of the practice. Yoga poses and sequences can target both outer body and inner body processes, such as the nervous system and immune system. While taking the time for your body to rest in a neutral state and position, it is able to integrate and reap the benefits of any changes that have taken place.
Laying in Savasana at the end of a practice can allow for a deeper relaxation response in your body
Because your body has been moving and working for the past hour, it is more open and able to fully relax at the end of the class. Allowing the body to engage in a full state of relaxation has many wonderful benefits to physical and emotional health.
How to set up for a successful Savasana:
1. Lay in a comfortable and neutral position, preferably on your back, so your body is open and relaxed. You can have the knees bent or supported by a pillow or bolster if that is more comfortable to your back.
2. Let your leg muscles relax completely - melting into the floor - and if the legs are straight, allow the feet and legs to turn our slightly as the toes release away from one another.
3. Bring your arms down by your sides and slightly away from your body. Turn the palms up to the sky to help keep the chest and shoulders open. Arm muscles can completely relax and the arms just melt into the floor.
4 Allow your eyes to close and relax all the muscles in the face, jaw, neck and throat. Continue to breathe in and out through your nose if possible allowing the breath to hold your focus so your mind doesn't wander away.