One of the things I like best about yoga is the promise of savasana at the end of each session, of being able to lie on the floor, to completely let go and absorb the effects of the practice – a harmony of mind and body. Savasana, also known as the corpse pose, is considered an actual posture. It relates to the feeling when the physical body releases itself into the earth, and through stillness, the mind takes on a blissful state.
You'd think that lying down at the end of yoga would be easy but actually going into the state of savasana is something that many struggle with. It often takes time and practice to master.
Many people initially find themselves fidgeting, unable to close their eyes, or experience any stillness. Some even leave the room altogether. Once you become adept at the physical act of keep still and letting go, you may start to feel blissed out. A feeling of floating on a cloud, body soothed and spacious, awareness tingling through the body will become a frequent occurrence. You will look forward to the end each practice and leave feeling revived and calmer. Yoga will never leave you feeling tired as you've given your body a chance to gather energy and completely refresh yourself.
To practice savasana at the end of your yoga session, lie on the floor, using a blanket. I like to use a soft lightweight bamboo Asquith shawl. Cover the eyes with an eye pillow or a light cloth to block out the light. The legs are relaxed, feet wider than the hips, the palms facing up and feel the body releasing and surrendering into the floor. With the body relaxed, notice the breath starting to slow down as the nervous system becomes calmer. Focus on the movement of the breath in the body. Any time you notice your mind wandering, invite it to come back to observe the rhythm of the breath.
Stay for at least 7 minutes. When you are ready, begin to deepen the breath and bring your awareness back, visualising the room you are in. Hug your knees towards you and gently roll over onto your side, softly opening the eyes. Use the hands to press back up to sitting cross-legged. Stay sitting tall, for a few minutes of meditation, with the palms facing up on the thighs, the face soft. Continue to follow the movement of the breath in the body, and soak in the feeling you are left with, the residue of the yoga practice. Rub the palms together, creating some heat. Bring the palms together in front of the heart centre and bow forward. Bow to the inner light within, to the inner teacher.