Savasana, to many students, seems to be an easy pose to master- lie still, let your mind wander and simply relax after a sweaty practice. Yet, the purpose of savanasa is not only to “chill out” but to symbolically “die” or to truly let go of the world around you- if only for a brief moment. The word “shava” in Sanskrit means corpse and the term “asana” means pose. Therefore, the purpose of this pose is to let the old die and let the new in. As B.K.S. Iyengar states:
“By remaining motionless for some time and keeping the mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax. This conscious relaxation invigorates and refreshes both body and mind”.
By surrendering into stillness and calmness, the body and mind have to let go of any holding and begin to rebuild. Savasana gives us an opportunity to absorb the benefits of the practice into the body. It prepares the body and mind to be “reborn” by using the benefits of our practice in our day-to-day life.
Yet, the lessons we learn in savasana also improve our practice, as we learn to surrender the mind and body, we also bring a sense of surrender to the rest of our practice.
As we exit savasana, we roll onto our right side into a fetal position. This fetal position provides us with a moment to true feel the physical effects of being reborn. We enter the world with a refreshed view of ourselves and the world around us.
Therefore, the next time you have the urge to shorten or skip your savasana or simply recite your shopping list during this precious moments- remember how important this pose is to your practice and your life off the mat.