Savasana – Corpse Pose
Savasana is a yoga pose meaning ‘corpse pose’ where one lays on the ground, arms and legs spread apart, palms facing up and eyes are closed. While in this pose breath deeply through your nostrils and simply relax, starting with the head slowly relax your body until you reach your feet. Releasing any tension you may have, quiet the mind and focus on your breath. Savasana is considered to be one of the most important parts of the yoga exercise, as you finish your yoga exercise your brain (and body) are tired enough to let you concentrate on breathing and relaxing. The benefits of savasana in yoga are many, from a decrease in blood pressure and muscle tension to improvement in concentration and in memory.
Quieting the mind
As you finish your yoga practice, the last pose of the day will be the savasana. It might be the most difficult one to do, mainly because it doesn’t require you working any part of your body except the most important one – YOUR BRAIN! As you are laying on your back, eyes closed, trying to focus on your breath many thoughts come to mind. ‘When will I get home’, ‘What will I make for dinner’, ‘Should I call my friend today’, ‘It’s too cold in here’, ‘It’s too hot in here’, ‘Maybe I should quit my job’, ‘Did I send that E-mail’. So many thoughts that come to our mind just when we are trying to release them, this pose is one of the benefits of savasana in yoga, maybe the most important one as you finish your exercise and let your body release any tension and simply relax.
In our daily life, we are always rushing, running, doing something, thinking about someone or something. This is the best opportunity to simply be. As you are. With no limitations, no judging yourself, being present at the moment, embracing the precious time you have with yourself doing nothing at all.
Health Benefits of Savasana
A research was done in association with the Sports Center of the University of São Paulo – Brazil discovered that savasana has positive effects on cardiac autonomic modulation in hypertensive patients.
The investigated intervention (savasana relaxation) decreased sympathovagal balance after its execution, and this reduction was not impaired by hypertension. Thus, these ﬁndings strengthen the recommendation of relaxation as part of the non-pharmacological treatment of hyperten-sion, performed alone or in association.
Many researchers have studied about yoga and how it can improve our lives, however not many have studied Savasana in particular. Nevertheless, these are the main benefits known to be achieved by practicing savasana:
- High energy levels, improvement in concentration, focus, memory, and productivity.
- Relaxation of the whole body while decreasing muscle tension.
- Reduces anxiety and is known for helping people suffering from insomnia.
- Stimulates blood circulations and decreases blood pressure
Measurable Changes in Brain Regions
A team at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) reported that in a study they have made, participating in an eight-week mindfulness meditation program makes changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress.
“It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life,” says Britta Hölzel, first author of the paper and a research fellow at MGH and Giessen University in Germany.
Savasana creates an amazing feeling of relaxation and awareness of the body and may be thought of as a form of meditation, though the physical position in which savasana is done (lying down), can sometimes create the feeling of sleepiness. This is not the only reason why savasana is NOT considered a true meditation, savasana is a passive position while meditation is more dynamic and requires more energy to achieve it. So please note that savasana is not good for a true meditation and rather be used as a form of relaxing the body.
5-10 Minutes Is All It Takes
You don’t have to be a yoga expert to experience the amazing feeling of savasana, you may start out with only 5 minutes of laying on your back (after your yoga exercise), inhaling and exhaling from your nostrils, concentrating on your breath. Savasana will give you the feeling of pure relaxation in every part in your body. Start out with only 5 minutes and as you keep practicing you will find that time doesn’t really matter, you may lay for 5, 15 or 30 minutes without even noticing and feel the amazing gift of savasana.
I would love to hear about your experience with savasana, let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading,