Stick Around for Savasana!
It may look like the easiest yoga pose to do when you compare it to headstands and arm balances, but many yogis would tell you Savasana- or Corpse Pose- is just the opposite. It typically comes at the end of class as a final resting pose, but many take it as a cue to roll up their mat and leave class. Why is it so hard to stay? Well, it turns out relaxing fully isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Savasana asks you to gradually relax one body part at a time and bring your heart rate back to its baseline, after all that movement. The pose comes at the end of your practice intentionally, so you’ve been given plenty of time to open, stretch and release tension during more active asanas. Your body is ready for it, now it’s time to train your brain.
After an active yoga practice or a busy day, it’s normal to want to do anything but slow down. So, Savasana brings up some resistance—especially in the need-to-hustle, Type A’s out there. If you’re experiencing a lot of discomfort when you come to lay down at the end of your class, just remember that you are practicing. Practicing yoga. Practicing relaxation. Practicing Savasana. Over time, your mind and body will sink into softness more easily and quickly.
You can also use your Savasana time for meditating. Studies show those who make time for this mindfulness practice have larger gray matter in their brains and a larger right hippocampus—both of which are responsible for emotional regulation and response control.
So, don’t be so quick to skip Savasana! You’re not only short-changing yourself of a complete yoga practice, you’re not giving your brain and body adequate time to absorb all the work you’ve just done. Check out some tips for setting up your pose properly below to get on the right track:
· Lay down on your back with your eyes closed
· Relax, stretch out your arms and legs
· Scan your body from head to toe and release any lingering tension
· Add pillows, blocks or blankets under your head for extra comfort