Probably everyone practicing yoga knows that magical feeling of complete relaxation and satisfaction after intense yoga class when we perform Savasana, and observe how our body gradually relaxes and restores vitality.
“Savasana” is translated from Sanskrit as “corpse pose.” This means that the body is absolutely passive and relaxed, without any internal tension. This is one of the oldest yoga asanas.
Savasana is performed while lying on your back, with your feet apart, arms pulled away from the body, and turned upside down, eyes closed. Its main goal is absolute stillness and relaxation.
For most people, this pose is quite comfortable. But sometimes pain in the lower back or neck (if there are spine problems), as well as an increase of anxiety and internal disturbance are possible.
You can place a bolster (roller) under bent legs or a rolled towel under the lower back if there is a pain. If you feel tension and pain in the neck – use a small pillow, put it under the head.
How to do Savasana?
Savasana consists of several phases.
The first phase is preparatory, where we lay on a mat, having a blanket prepared if needed.
The second phase is muscles relaxation. We start to relax our muscles, all our body from the tips of our toes to the hair roots and back, not forgetting about the internal organs. An important point is the concentration not only on those parts that we relax, but also the concentration on the breathing. An indicator of the relaxation of the muscles will be a feeling of heaviness throughout the whole body. Even our arms will seem immensely heavy.
The third phase is emotional relaxation. The concentration on the center of eyebrow (third eye) may help to relax emotionally. Concentrate on it while inhaling, then short breath retention, and exhale returning an internal look to a normal state. Repeat it 8-10 times until you get the feeling that the body seems to fall into some kind of abyss.
The fourth phase is called complete relaxation, when the body is relaxed, the emotions have subsided and now we need to calm our mind. Visualization of the blue sky, the endless sea or any other picture having a calming effect help to calm our mind. When the brain is focused on the picture, it automatically turns off almost all the sensory organs, which is exactly what we need. This is how we can achieve muscle and nervous relaxation. Breathing and heart rate slows down, and the next stage begins. Now we can look deep into the subconscious. This state is close to samadhi (the highest level of consciousness).
To get out of Savasana we need to re-feel all the parts of our body, walk through them with our attention with love and care, slowly stretch our body and get up.
Savasana is not only the final stage of yoga practice, but it is a deep meditative practice that combines our body and soul into one whole. If correctly performed, it stops the flow of thoughts, which brings us closer to one of the main goals of yoga – Chitta Writti Nirodhah, the complete serenity and quietness of mind.