The Land of Repose

Jul 8, 2012   //   by Staff Writer   //   The Blog  //  No Comments

It’s the last few minutes of class and the quick-moving asanas have come to a close.  There’s only one move left, savasana, and it carries the connotation of being the easiest.  People anticipate savasana in different ways; some embrace it as a moment of relief, while others feel anxious during the pose due to their wandering thoughts.

Perhaps it should be accepted with neutrality.  After all, the body is kept in a neutral position during the duration of savasana.  Don’t get mistaken though; although it’s no shoulder stance or inverted triangle, savasana isn’t exactly easy.  Sure, the body remains in corpse pose with the back on the ground.  Some people even take this physical break as a moment to sleep.  It’s actually the chosen pose to hold during yoga nidra practice (or yogic sleep), but it’s important to acknowledge that staying conscious and aware of yourself it where the activity happens, especially in savasana.

“Why must I lie still for that long?” I heard someone ask before in regards to savasana.  We were discussing the different parts of classes that we enjoy, and they found savasana to be a nuisance, just because they came for the movement of the course.  “The last thing I want to do in yoga is lie down!”

There’s actually a lot of movement happening during savasana.  It’s just really subtle.  The aim with savasana is total relaxation, which for many people, requires practice to obtain.  For starters, it’s simple enough to lie on your back with eyes closed and palms up, but on YogaJournal.com, there’s multi-paragraphs of step-by-step instruction full of intricate details, like broadening “the base of the skull too, and lift[ing[ the crease of the neck diagonally into the center of the head”.

It’s probably best to explore these physical adjustments over time, after you’ve gotten accustomed to calming the mind of thoughts as well as everything else internally, such as your sensory organs.  Things like the sounds around you, the lighting of the room, as well as the temperature, should be taken in as observations that are part of the moment rather than distractions.

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