Recently, I celebrated International Yoga Day with many of my fellow yoga teachers at Áras an Uachtairáin. It was such a wonderful event, and I loved every part of it.
When we set up for some self-led yoga practice on the lawns, my very first yoga teacher settled her mat beside mine. It was lovely to see her again, and it got me thinking about the first yoga class I attended.
My first time on the mat...
When I attended my first class, I was recovering from an injury, and felt that a soothing yoga class would be the perfect way to help my injured muscles to recover. I didn’t realise that it was an Ashtanga Yoga class, definitely one of the more physically intense forms of yoga!
For most of the class, my healing body could not keep up. I remember looking at everyone else in the class. They could do it, and here I was, struggling with the most basic poses!
Finally, we arrived at Savasana and relaxation at the end of the class (this is the “aha” moment). I lay there, and it felt like a switch had gone on inside me. I kept thinking “Is this for free?? Can I access this all the time?! I want to teach this to other people!!”. From the moment Savasana began, I was truly hooked on yoga.
One of the most important poses...
Although the term “Savasana” hasn’t got the cheeriest translation (corpse pose), it is one of the most healing, beneficial poses we do in yoga.
Glad you asked! Here are my top 5 benefits of Savasana:
Soak it In
Among many other things, Savasana helps your body and mind to absorb the benefits of your yoga practice.
Unknot Your Muscles
You’ll notice that as you remain in Savasana, many yoga teachers will remind you to relax each part of your body. In fact, we’ll often talk you through consciously relaxing the body from the tips of your toes to the crown of your head. This can only mean good things for tense muscles.
Learn to Let Go
As you lie in Savasana, you make a conscious decision to surrender. Your whole physical posture is one of openness and complete yielding. In my classes, I often call Savasana “the ultimate pose of surrender”. Letting go is such an important lesson, and one that can be difficult to learn. Savasana helps you on that learning journey.
This benefit is probably what most people associate with Savasana. No matter how stressed out you feel, or how many worries lay on your shoulders, a gentle relaxation, and lying in Savasana pose for even a short length of time can help ease your worries.
Stay in the Present Moment
Many people tell me that they find meditation and mindfulness difficult. With such busy lives and busy minds, it’s no wonder that the key tools for meditation - staying present and staying still - are hard to grasp. It’s something we all need to work at. Savasana helps you to build your meditation and mindfulness through its guided stillness.
So there you have it. There’s no need to feel guilty that Savasana is your favourite part of your yoga class - it’s one of the most important! I hope knowing this will help you enjoy your end of class reward even more :)