The Holistic Benefits of Savasana
Emphasizing awareness and curiosity of the body’s natural breathing pattern, Savasana is a great place to practice engaging in mindful awareness without effort or exertion.
Continue reading below for some specific mental, physical, and spiritual benefits of Savasana.
In Savasana, sensory stimulation and external distractions are ultimately minimized to help the body completely relax. With a grounded body, mental energy can be channeled inward and the mind can start to explore the body from the inside.
Practice will increase body awareness and interoception. Interoception is insight on the physiological condition of the body and is associated with the autonomic nervous system and autonomic motor control. The autonomic nervous system is in control of the normally unconscious and automatic bodily functions like breathing, the heartbeat, and the digestive processes.
Interoception is also linked to the formation of subjective feeling states. In summary, practicing Savasana may increase the ability to notice things like the body’s breathing and heartbeat as well as form calmer and more relaxed feeling states.
For this reason, increased interoception has been linked to decreased signs and symptoms of anxiety and depression. In addition, savasana is known as a great way to calm the mind, reduce stress and fatigue, lower blood pressure, relieve headache pain, and improve sleep.
Lastly, the meditative state of yoga in Savasana has been shown the help slow the active beta brainwaves in favor of the slower states of alpha and theta brainwaves (which are linked to creativity).
While asana flows help the body unwind, Savasana is the time to reap in all the benefits of the physical practice.
Muscular and skeletal tension is consciously relaxed in this pose. Over a longer savasana, surface tightness melts away and exposes deeper layers of stress in the muscles.
There is a range in suggested Savasana length, some suggest a minimum of six minutes for every hour of practice, and some suggest mid-practice breaks Savasana breaks every 30 minutes of asana practice. Regardless of length and frequency, we can all agree that Savasana is an essential part of every yoga practice.
To help you ground better in Savasana, you can practice it in combination with pranayama and mantra practice. For example, counting down from 10, “I am breathing in 10, I am breathing out 10, I am breathing in 9, I am breathing out 9…,” or reciting a mantra, “I am grounded, I am relaxed, I am grounded, I am relaxed…,” can help ground and center a Savasana practice.
Savasana is often the closing and final asana in practice, and it is a great time to channel energy inward to restore and revitalize the hardworking mind and body.
Expanding upon the mental benefits, Savasana provides an opportunity to explore the fifth limb of yoga: pratyahara. Very simplified, pratyahara is withdrawing from the senses and gaining mastery over external influences.
However, the practice of pratyahara is very complex, a contributing reason to why Savasana is considered one of the hardest poses to master.