Yoga Asanas | Savasana – to let go or not to let go, that is the question.

I was once asked which, out of all the Iyengar Yoga Asanas could I name as my favourite. Without hesitation I replied Savasana.

Literally translated as Corpse Pose, Savasana usually comes at the end of physical Asana practice and brings the opportunity to release, relax and surrender.

However, letting go is possibly the most difficult task in our practice. Just when we think we’ve reached the limit of what we can do, we are asked to let go of our thoughts and surrender our bodies to the floor.

As a teacher, when the time comes for students to come into Savasana I can tell that some of them feel a sense of relief; “thank goodness it’s time to lie down and relax” but for others I can see a sense of restlessness, a gravitation towards the door, a sudden need to leave as something urgent has cropped up.

This is precisely why these students need time for Savasana at the end of a demanding physical practice.

Learning to relax and let go is a skill in itself for the practice of Iyengar Yoga.

So I could now become very philosophical and intellectual and discuss rebirth, inner peace and the bliss of finding ones true self.  Realistically these maybe very lofty and seemingly unattainable aspirations, when all we want to think about when lying down in Savasana is either going to sleep or what we need to pick up at the supermarket on the way home.

Whatever thoughts you now have about Savasana as one of the key Yoga Asanas and how it fits into your Yoga practice, just take a quick look at some of the benefits that students have discovered when taking the time to perform this Yoga pose with integrity and intelligence:

  • Savasana wards off mental fatigue and makes the “Citta” (mind, intelligence and ego) calm and quiet
  • Steady smooth breathing in the pose allows energy to flow into the body, invigorating it and reducing stress
  • It reduces physical fatigue and soothes the nervous system
  • It can help treat high blood pressure and relieve migraine or stress related headaches
  • Savasana can assist in alleviating the symptoms of respiratory diseases and ease breathing, especially if the thoracic spine is supported to help open the chest
  • It speeds up recuperation after illness
  • Finally it can help towards a good night’s sleep

Think of Savasana as precious time to devote to you, your body and your breath.  Think of it as a way to be present in the here and now without the distractions of the outside world.

Next time you practice Iyengar Yoga, make your Savasana a new experience. It has many benefits, physical and mental, you just have to let go enough to let them in.

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