Why Savasana Is Not Just For Your Yoga Mat
Don’t let the topic or the headline put your off – whether you’re into yoga or not, this post will benefit you immensely.
If you’re not a yogi or a yogini, let me bring you up to speed on what savasana is. Most yoga modalities are made up of varying poses and slightly different rules, however there is a pose that is crucial to all yoga classes – savasana. Savasana, or “corpse pose” or “dead body pose” is the pose that is practiced at the end of each class. In Bikram yoga, it is practiced at the end of each pose in the floor series. It is the most important part of any class. This may seem strange given that it is the pose that requires the least amount of effort – all it involves is lying on your back with your arms out to the side, arms facing up, and remaining perfectly still. However, its simplicity is deceptive. Most people struggle more with this pose than they do with the more complicated ones. We humans have so much difficulty doing absolutely nothing at all.
Savasana is crucial to yoga because it is in this pose that all of your previous work is integrated and your body is able to absorb all of the benefits. It also calms the body, stills the mind, and allows deep healing to occur.
I believe that savasana is also crucial to life off our yoga mats. We are constantly racing from one task to the next, moving down our to-do lists, and mentally ticking boxes next to all of the goals we set for ourselves. But at the end of the day, we often still feel like we could have accomplished more, or we’re just plain exhausted. If we took the time to ruminate at the end of a task, reflect at the end of an achieved goal, and practice stillness between our to-dos, we would develop an awareness that would lead to satisfaction with our efforts and peace of mind that would allow us to enjoy it. How blissful does that sound?
Ways To Inject Savasana Into Your Daily Life
When you finish reading a book, don’t just go straight to the next one you have sitting on your bedside table (I’m guilty of doing this). Instead, take a little while to allow the message from the last book to sink in. Maybe go back and re-read passages that stood out to you. Let the wisdom become a part of you.
When you drive somewhere, spend a few moments before you get out of the car to come home to yourself. Close your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and centre yourself before you move onto wherever you are going.
When you’re eating a meal, try to do so mindfully. Don’t watch TV or read a magazine at the same time. Instead, enjoy each mouthful, chew carefully, and show gratitude for the nutrition your body is receiving.
When you cross something off your to-do list, be grateful to yourself for getting the job done. Before you move onto the next task, take a moment to look out the window, take a few deep breaths, calm your mind, and visualise the rest of your day going smoothly.
When you’re in the shower, repeat positive affirmations to yourself. Shower time can often cause mental chatter to get away from us. Reel it in by staying mindful, and only saying nice things to yourself.
When you’re on the toilet. This is the perfect time to close your eyes and still the mind!
Before you get out of bed in the morning, repeat at least five things you are grateful for and then affirm that you are going to have a wonderful day.
In the middle of the day, take some time out. Sit outside in the sun, lie on your back somewhere and close your eyes, cloud watch, or just sit back in your chair with your feet on the ground and practice some deep breathing.
Before bed, think of all the positive things that happened during the day. Then, mentally relax every part of your body.
Can you think of any other ways to practice savasana off the yoga mat?
Positive affirmation for the day: I release the need to change anything about my life. Everything is just the way it is supposed to be.
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