"Stillness is not about focusing on nothingness; it’s about creating a clearing. It’s opening up an emotionally clutter-free space and allowing ourselves to feel and think and dream and question.”
From outward appearances, it may appear as though not much is happening in savasana; but this posture of stillness is one of the most revealing, transformative, and oftentimes most challenging aspects of a yoga practice.
The Sanskrit word "savasana" translates into "corpse pose," as it is symbolic of a dying or shedding of old ideas and thoughts and versions of ourselves. This seemingly easy resting pose is held in high regard by yoga practitioners as one of the most important and instrumental parts of a holistic yoga practice.
In Savasana, we learn to let go...
Savasana is a stillness meditation which happens at the end of a yoga class. After moving the body through a series of asanas (physical postures) which invite stamina, engagement, balance, focus, concentration, and integration, savasana is usually experienced lying flat on the back in a relaxed and comfortable still position. In Savasana, we learn to let go and observe from a calm, alert, and pleasantly detached place. It is an opportunity to be fully present with the absorption of the benefits of the practice into the physical and energetic body. Unlike when you enter a deep state of sleep, savasana is constructive and conscious stillness, lingering in a state of heightened awareness of the subtle energy which fosters higher states of consciousness.
NOT EVERYONE IS IN LOVE WITH SAVASANA...
As relaxing and wonderful as this may sound, not everyone is in love with savasana. For some, it is extremely difficult to untether the mind from the constant pull of task-oriented and result-driven energy. One of the biggest obstacles to experiencing a blissful state in savasana is what is commonly referred to as "monkey mind," an inability of the mind to find contentment in the stillness and experience sattva, the state of balance, clarity, and lucidity. Without some external stimulus to focus or fixate on, our minds can become dissatisfied or bored fairly quickly and dart randomly from thought to thought.
It takes practice and repetition to teach our bodies and minds how to be still and peaceful, which is why savasana is most effective when it is longer. Here at Black Cat Yoga, it is our intention to offer our students an 8- to 15-minute savasana, depending on the length of the class. In the beginning, it is not uncommon to experience fidgeting in the body and restlessness in the mind; but the more you practice, the smoother the transition and the quicker the shift between the state of "doingness" and the state of "beingness."
Trust the process.
Take a deep breath.
And fall in love with savasana.
Lisa and Kevin McCormack
Owners of Black Cat Yoga