I write this, not as a yoga expert. Far from it. I write this as a regular girl, who loves yoga, isn't super flexible and wants to grow and share those good yoga vibrations with the world. Let's get down and dirty with the most difficult yoga pose (in my humble opinion) in yoga. Shavasana. Or Savasana. Or Corpse Pose. Today I am going to call it Savasana.
I am especially fond of hot yoga. I love the way I feel before, during and after almost every hot yoga class I have ever done. I am an unofficial (as in unrecognized...like they don't know about it) honourary hot yoga studio tester for Moksha Yoga and GoodLife Fitness. My dream is to become a yoga instructor myself, one day. I wish to be one of those mellow, serene, chill, totally calm yogi's. But until then, I am a wannabe yoga gangsta. The hardest part of yoga for me is Savasana, or the end of yoga class, where you take the time to let your body rest so that you can fully absorb the benefits of your practice. It is nearly flippin' impossible for me to do this some/most days. I either have some place to be, or my brain is jumping ahead and just working overtime. My brain rarely stops. Can't stop or won't stop.
So What's The Deal With Savasana?
Obviously it would be a lot easier just to bolt out of the yoga studio. Well, I had a little chat with my yoga instructor after class today. I had a selfish reason for chatting with her. I wanted to find out how I can grow and become better at shutting my brain off during Savasana. For me, and I am sure many, Savasana is the easiest pose to get into, but the hardest part of your yoga practice. I will say that again, laying on the ground, it is the hardest part of your practice.
Why is Savasana The Hardest Yoga Pose?
Savasana means total relaxation. It is a chance for your body to absorb your practice. To rejuvenate your mind and body. So right away, that is impossible for most people. Like me. But, without a doubt, Savasana should absolutely be a part of your yoga practice. So suck it up and practice. I will too.
Need some help. Check out these tips.
How To Do Savasana Properly
- Spread the legs one to two feet apart, the toes are turned outwards, the heels facing each other, a comfortable distance apart.
- Bring the arms a little away from the body, palms turned upward.
- Relax the neck and allow it to turn to the side if it is more comfortable.
- Close the eyes and focus the attention on the body, breathing normally.
- Begin focusing each body part and relaxing it, then moving on. Keep the mind focused on relaxation, the breath should be normal. Relax the whole body.
5 Tips For A Successful Savasana
- Keep the mind focused on relaxing. If thoughts come do not stress about them but let them pass.
- Keep the spine in a straight line.
- Avoid moving the body parts as even the slightest movement will use many muscles and increase the nerve impulses.
- Keep the eyes closed.
- Practice, practice, practice. It's not easy, but it's totally worth it. Don't give up.
At the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious here, there are some pretty awesome benefits to laying down after your yoga practice. Then why, oh why, is it the hardest part of class? Argh. But this is the best part. It's hard for everyone. No need to worry. Even the most experienced yogi's sometimes struggle with shavasana. Phewf. What a relief. the most important part, is not to give up. Don't punish yourself or get frustrated if you get distracted. Simply re-focus and keep going.
The Benefits Of Savasana
- Decrease in heart rate and the rate of respiration.
- Decrease in blood pressure.
- Decrease in muscle tension.
- Decrease in metabolic rate and the consumption of oxygen.
- Reduction in general anxiety.
- Reduction in the number and frequency of panic attacks.
- Increase in energy levels and in general productivity.
- Improvement in concentration and in memory.
- Increase in focus.
- Decrease in fatigue, coupled with deeper and sounder sleep.
- Improved self-confidence.
So I challenge you, don't you dare skip Savasana no matter how busy you may be. Especially during the holiday season. Induldge yourself in those 5 or so minutes at the end of your practice and you will reap the benefits. I will join you.