Savasana (pronounced sha-va-sa-na) is the last pose of a yoga class. You’ve probably even heard that it is the most important posture we practice. How is that? All you do is lay on the floor still as can be.
Savasana is likened to a corpse (that’s what “sava” means – “corpse”) because in the state of death we must let go of all attachments. We can hold onto nothing. There is nothing more to do. We are finally resting.
In this pose we let go of the individual poses of our practice and let them merge into the oneness of you. You let go of the thoughts in the mind (even if they are still present, you let them pass through). You let go of control over the breath and just let it be. The whole body settles in to a state of pure relaxation and surrendering. For those few wonderful minutes at the end of every yoga class, you get to let go of your to-do list, your emails, your work, even your personality.
In the pureness of savasana we aren’t bound by our attachments. In the Bhagavad Gita (6.23) Krishna tells Arjuna, “Yoga is a means to disconnect your identification with that which experiences pain.” That is what we embrace in savasana. Our minds, bodies and spirits are freed from stress, worry, anguish, sorry, and grief. We can embrace our lives just at they are and just as we are for the sweet time of savasana.
A few slokas later (6.25), Krishna says “Little by little, through patience and repeated effort, the mind will become stilled in the Self.” This is so true in our practice. Think about the first time you practiced savasana and how it may have been racing wondering if you were doing it right or when you were going to be done with this silly pose they call “important.” Along the way you began to enjoy savasana and even look forward to it. It is a time of absorption, peace and freedom. Your mind and body both embrace the stillness.
The next time you settle into savasana find all the comfort you need with props like blankets and bolsters so your body can let go of any discomfort or pain. Then settle into the stillness and enjoy this conscious sense of peace and relaxation. Be you and set yourself free.