Seemingly the easiest pose, Savasana or Corpse pose takes a whole lifetime to master. It has become more and more important in my own practice. I used to rely on the teacher guiding me through but now I am able to find my way into relaxation without getting distracted by the monkey mind.
It is often named as a favourite pose by students because it is so blissful to truly let go into deep and nourishing relaxation at the end of a more active class. But I also practice it on it’s own, often in the middle of the day as a pause from which I can re-boost my energy stores. So many of us live an impossibly busy life and are suffering from ongoing exhaustion and fatigue. It is not uncommon to feel that we are too busy to rest, and all too often we override the body’s cry for rest. Personally I have found that conversley to this attitude, having a daily rest actually increases my productivity later in the day.
‘Sava’ means corpse and so the clue to the attitude one should cultivate to practice this pose is in the name! To let go and act like a corpse is harder than one might anticipate because of the power of the mind. The internal dialogue is often a distraction and this activity can get in the way of surrendering. Obviously we are not wanting to actually die at the end of a practice but Savasana is an invitation for a part of us to die: the ego identity to which we have become attached and mistakenly believe to be who we are. It is a meditation practice, where we turn the senses within, let go of any aspect of doing but all the while residing in Awareness, our True Nature.
Practicing regularly will contribute to better sleep, reducing anxiety and depression, relax the nervous system and mind as well as boost the immune system.
So here’s an invitation to lie down today making sure you are very comfortable. Lie on a soft blanket, support the head with a folded towel (see the Origami head support), place a pillow under your knees, cover yourself with a blanket and if you have an eyebag or facecloth place it over the eyes. The following audio track was recorded in a class and will guide you into a whole body sensing relaxation.
Love this image of you in the leaves. Have just gone and practised Savasana after reading this. What a nice way to “die”.