Skipping Savasana

Posted on Posted in Asana, Self-Study

You know who you are. And I’m not talking about regular yogis who have skipped it a few times because of prior obligations, I mean those of you who 98% of the time leave as the rest of the class is winding their way to Savasana.

Skipping Savasana | EJL Blog

I teach Power Vinyasa 3 days a week and I have 1 student in particular who always leaves before Savasana. I have also subbed a few specific classes multiple times and there is a student in that class that always leaves as well. I don’t get it. I mean, I sort of get it, but not really. Savasana is just as important, if not more important than the other asanas that have been practiced in the class.

Savasana, or Corpse Pose, on a physical level, lets your nervous system incorporate everything you’ve just done. It’s also important to let your body relax after all the motion, tension, and balance it has just been asked to do. I’ve found that in more physically challenging classes Savasana helps stave off the muscle soreness and tension that I otherwise would have felt had I skipped it. And I know this because I used to skip Savasana after some of my home practices and found that I woke up more sore the next day because I had skipped it. If I took the 5 minutes or so to lay there and incrementally relax my body, that tension had a chance to drain away; the muscles had a chance to relax. However, if I skipped it, my muscles remain tense and I carry the tension to bed with me. Who wants to go to bed or go on about their day with a tight neck and shoulders?

Savasana as it relates to the emotional and mental states is a whole other story. I think for most some people this is the hard part. I do see people who can’t be still physically (and you know their mind isn’t still either), but not as much in Vinyasa classes because of the physical exertion. The point of Savasana on this level is to quiet the mind. For most people, thoughts will continue to come. This is normal. The idea is that you notice them and let them float away. I like to say, “…watch them float away as if on a river”, or “…watch them pass by like a white fluffy cloud” (Pretty imagery FTW!). One thought invariable leads to another, this is just the way the brain works. It’s important to understand this and not get angry about it. Our brains evolved to compile information and make sense of things. They are busy, busy things! The first step is to accept that and then work with it. I always encourage students to bring the mind back to the present by focusing on the breath or the sensation in the body. This is also how I bring my wandering mind back. This happens less when I’m taking a class or practicing at home, but when I’m taking Savasana with my students it is definitely going.

If you are one of those people who skip Savasana because it feels like torture to you, may I suggest you look at it as a reward? Many type A people (I’m a reformed Type A) who think they are wasting time being still may frame Savasana in the mind as a “requirement”. I know the me of 8 years ago would have viewed it this way. I would have had other “requirements” that I deemed more important than just laying on some mat being quiet. I would also like to be bold and say that if you are one of those people, you need Savasana more than you think. The mind needs quiet time. On the days I don’t take time to sit in meditation I have less patience, I’m more judgemental, more prone to aggravation, and just more grumpy. If you don’t meditate, but want to, try using Savasana as your meditation time. If you do meditate and skip Savasana because you think you don’t need it, try to think of the physical benefits of Savasana and see if that changes things for you 🙂

Namaste Friends ♥

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