Savasana (also spelled Shavasana), pronounced shah-VAHS-anna, sava = corpse. This pose is also called Mrtasana (pronounced mrit-TAHS-anna, mrta = death)
How to get there….. Lie down! Best practiced after a yoga class (although not necessary!) and it’s essential that the body be placed in a neutral position.
- Lying on your back, lift your pelvis and slide your tailbone away to comfortably spread your lower back. Keep just a light, natural arch to your lower back. Rest your pelvis on the ground. Lengthen your legs, opening legs hip width apart. Let your legs and feet evenly and naturally roll outwards and feel your groin soften.
- Lift your arms and shoulders up enough to spread your shoulder blades and back ribs. Ease your shoulders away from your neck. Then, rest your arms beside the torso at about a 45-degree angle. Place your palms up to encourage your chest and shoulders to open. Image your collarbone and chest spreading as your arms settle.
- Lengthen the back of your neck by slightly moving your chin towards the chest. Once comfortable, take a slow deep inhale. As you exhale, let your body relax and sink into the floor. Maintain stillness as you relax and quiet the mind. Feel your eyes relax into the sockets. Soften the tongue, lips, jaw and forehead. Let the heart, lungs, and other organs relax.
- Continue to gaze inwards watching your body and mind rest. Relaxation can last from 5 to 20 minutes.
- To exit, inhale bringing your legs into your chest and exhale gradually hugging your knees into your body and rock side to side several times. End rolling to the right pausing to feel your self mentally centered. Push from the right up to sitting. Take a moment to sit tall and feel the calmness Savasana has created.
Early Summer is a lovely time to rest in this pose and enjoy the after effects of your yoga practice. Feel the connective tissue you’ve stretched release tension and allow the chest and arms to be open to help increase the emotions of joy and happiness through the body and mind.
Relaxes your central nervous system and calms your mind
Helps relieve stress
Relaxes your body
Decreases beta brain waves and shifts to slower brain waves
Reduces insomnia and helps improve your sleep
Reduces headache and fatigue
Helps relieve depression
It can often be difficult to switch off the mind. Do a body scan with the mind from the thumbs through all the fingers down to the toes and see if you can relax part by part.
Back injury or discomfort: Do this pose with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, hip-distance apart; either bind the thighs parallel to each other with a strap (taking care not to position the heels too close to the buttocks) or support the bent knees on a bolster.
Pregnancy: Raise your head and chest on a bolster.