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The Benefits of Savasana

 

There is reason why Savasana is considered both the easiest yoga pose to perform, yet the most challenging to master. Savasana requires little to no physical effort - the intention is, after all, to reach a state of total relaxation. However it’s this very act of surrendering to total relaxation that presents itself as the most mentally challenging of all.

Many will go as far as to call Savasana the most important pose of class, as it allows the mind and body to fully integrate the benefits of yoga as both a physical practice for the body and a deeply spiritual one for the mind.

In this day and age in which our minds are constantly on the go, experiencing complete stillness is something we may find unfamiliar or even uncomfortable.

But there’s good reason for Savasana being incorporated as the final pose, as those few minutes at the end of our yoga practice can significantly enhance the spiritual and mental impact we experience.

Here are a few benefits to reap by ending your practice with Savasana:

  • It increases body awareness, relieving stress and mild depression
Practicing Savasana increases body awareness, in particular, interoceptive awareness, otherwise known as insight into the body’s physiological condition. During Savasana, we tap into the normally unconscious bodily functions such as breathing, the heartbeat and the digestive processes. As we notice the sensations of our autonomic nervous system we gradually increase our ability to gain control of our breathing and deliberately form calmer and more relaxed states. 
This increased awareness has been linked to decreased signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression, as well as reduced stress, fatigue, headache pain, blood pressure, and improved sleep - All the more reason to spend a few minutes in Savasana just before going to bed.
 
  • It relaxes the muscles
  • As we lie on our back, we allow our muscles to melt into the floor, allow our bones to feel heavy and encourage our body and mind relax.
    In this state we consciously relax and soften any muscular and skeletal tension we experienced during our practice or throughout the day, such as tightness in the shoulders or jaw. These few minutes of restoration allow our body the essential time to repair after a strenuous workout and prepare ourselves for the activity and tasks of the day ahead.
     
  • It allows us to practice self acceptance
  • After a workout in which we exert ourselves to improve strength, balance and flexibility, Savasana offers us the time to surrender completely, without any striving or struggle. 
    Instead we surrender to the present moment and tune into ourselves. It takes time to accept ourselves just as we are, but during Savasana we make it part of our ritual to turn our attention toward letting go and practicing self acceptance.
     
  • It reminds us to slow down
  • When we release tension and surrender to the moment, we allow ourselves the rare  experience of a moment of peace. Savasana is an invitation to slow down for a few minutes of the day and experience with awareness - and without guilt - the feeling of being present, undisturbed and in peace.
     
  • It teaches us to ‘make friends with death’
  • As we take a few minutes to ‘rest in peace’ in corpse pose, we acknowledge our own mortality and learn to find peace and contentment in the stillness. Although we know of death as a natural part of life, it’s a topic that may understandably bring about feelings of discomfort due its association with pain and loss. In Savasana, however, our ‘final relaxation pose’ is unintimidating and peaceful. It feels good, and in this grounding moment we appreciate life and the sensations it brings.
     
  • It sets us up toward a mindset of positivity and gratitude
  • Savasana is often the closing and final asana in practice and offers us the opportunity to channel energy inward to restore and revitalize the mind and body. Coming out of Savasana gives us the sensation of being ‘reborn’ and coming back to life. As we come out of our deep breathing and stillness and resume to the pace of every-day life, we notice with a new sense of awareness how good it feels to be alive.
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