Savasana is a Pose


Yoga “Stuff Happens

Yogis never sleep. They just do Savasana.”
~Jill Reeves

Question of the Week: What do you do to make your Savasana special? 

As I teach my yoga classes, I try to explain that Savasana is an official yoga pose. It is. Yes. Just lying there, on your mat, relaxing on your back; this is a yoga pose. No twisting or straining; no challenge. And yet, for some, it is one of the hardest poses of all to master.

It is also called, “Corpse Pose” (which seems very un-yoga like to me in its connotation) but seriously; the more relaxed you become, the better benefit for your soul. (For the sake of our discussion, we will assume that your Corpse Pose has a soul.)

I like to hand out blankets, flax seed/lavender eye pads, and bolsters to add comfort. It is a good idea to ask who would like the props.

I have seen first time yoga go-ers lie on their backs with their hands clenched to the sides of their legs (which are also clenched together.) They leave their glasses on. They tend to look like they have never fallen asleep in their lives and asking them to relax is akin to Stephen King movie torture.

For these folks, I open their palms to the sky and move their arms out to the sides. I pick up their feet, sway their legs side to side, place the heels down and then gently press the ankles open. Dots of lavender oil on the wrists are a nice touch and of course, flax seed eye pillows. I even have put people’s socks on for them which can be a delightful experience reminiscent of your Mom getting you ready for school when you were little. (However, with many of these Savasana preparations, I always ask first if it is OK to do them.)

Keep in mind that I have my own yoga studio and I tend to know my clients’ needs well. Any touches or props in yoga must be first approved by your yoga people. I announce first as Savasana preparation begins, “Who would like an eye pillow? Who would like a bolster under their legs for lower back support?” Sure enough, eventually, even “The Gripper” client will settle in, and eventually open up like a crocus springing up out of the cold, winter ground.

I like to joke that Savasana preparation is like getting ready for bed at a Slumber Party. You have all of these props and blankets around you and each person has their own mat plus you all get to lie down together. The only thing missing are the unhealthy snacks and the marathon of movies. Who knows? If it helps people to relax, it could be the next best Savasana technique out there.

Share some of your favorite Savasana techniques in the comments below. What brings soul to your Corpse Pose?

Image courtesy of ideowl

2 thoughts on “Savasana is a Pose”

  1. charlotte bradley

    Jill – I had a really nice Savasana experience when a teacher put sand bags on my hands. It really opened up my fingers which tend to curl in a lot (little arthritis maybe and too much computer!). It felt amazing.

  2. Thanks for the idea! I have eye pillows which might work, too, but the weight of the sandbags would be ideal! Sometimes I press into people’s palms with my hands.

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