I find myself craving deep rest throughout my yoga practice, and yet when it’s time for Savasana I’d often rather be running a marathon! I find it hard to be still in those final moments, when I know the class is coming to an end and my workload will return shortly after. Despite the urge to roll up my mat and run, I stay still and clear my mind of the incessant need “to do.” Why do I do this? Everything I’ve learned about yoga so far has taught me to stay put when things get uncomfortable and acknowledge times for rest. To me, that’s exactly what Savasana is about: being still and restoring.
Some students routinely choose to leave a class before or during Savasana. This is not only disruptive to the class and teacher, but it comes at a big cost to you. Literally translating to corpse pose, Savasana offers you the chance to be completely tranquil and calm in your mind and body. Nothing works better for relieving stress and letting go than allowing the world to melt away in Savasana. In addition to being a powerful stress-buster, this resting pose also allows your body to return to its normal state. In between all those Chatarungas and Navasanas your heart rate goes up and your body gets hot. In Savasana your breath and heart rate will return to normal, your body will cool down and you’ll be ready to transition back into your day.
The most important reason to stay in Savasana, in my opinion, is to allow your body to soak up all the healing benefits of the practice. Your body is constantly interpreting and processing all of your movements throughout your practice, including all the Downward Dogs and Warriors you do, and it needs time to absorb this information. Savasana provides your body with the opportunity to remember and integrate the information you’ve learned through each and every pose. Next time you come into Upward Facing Dog, you may just find your upper arm bones naturally roll back, all thanks to the lesson your body has learned from last week’s class.
Rest at the end of class, because…why not? You’re already there for the full class so stay fully committed to it and yourself. Do you really think getting off your mat 5 minutes early will allow you to accomplish that much more in your day, anyway? Just consider that everything you need will come to you during rest. If you legitimately have to leave before Savasana because of a work commitment or something like that, just know that you can always choose another class that would work better with your schedule. If you routinely leave class early because you feel you have something more important to do, just remember that you are important, your practice matters, and your dedication to that full hour matters. This is not about being a good or bad student, it’s about giving yourself the best chance you can to relax, restore and revitalize your mind, body and soul. Give Savasana a chance and your asana will be very happy!
Written by Power Yoga Canada Teacher and Writer Eryl McCaffrey. Check out her blog: http://twofeetheartbeat.wordpress.com/