For many of us, our schedules are never ending and our list of things to do circles in our head all day. By the time yoga class rolls around, just walking in the door is a feat. We try to leave our thoughts outside and focus while we are on the mat. But the second the physical part of the class ends and we start to move into Savasana, we tend to pick our thoughts back up and we might even sneak out and head home early while everyone else is shuffling around trying to get comfortable.
You may think it’s productive to skip out on the Savasana at the end of class, but you’re actually skipping the most important part of your practice. I know it’s tempting to ditch out early because, really, who has time to lie there and do nothing. But challenge yourself to stay focused through that last pose, Savasana, because its so much more than “lying there doing nothing.”
After an intense practice, your body will have stretched, twisted, exerted, turned upside down and re-aligned itself. It’s important to give your body a moment to take in the physical work that was just done and to reflect on everything it gained through the poses. When you are fully relaxed, the tension you worked out in class will melt out of you, and for a few minutes your muscles will be allowed to let go of their normal habits that carry you through your everyday life. Giving your body this time to fully relax and re-adjust to its normal heart rate and temperature will leave you feeling energized and refreshed.
Your mind, even more so than your body, also needs Savasana. The entire practice of yoga is about quieting your mind and focusing inward. But when you are working on a pose, you are most likely naturally thinking about the pose and the breath that steadies your focus and anticipating what’s going to happen next. Savasana is the ultimate relaxation and letting go of all of that. This is the time when your mind is able to fully sink into stillness and experience the bliss of yoga.
That peaceful few minutes of complete quietness of the mind promotes happiness, emotional stability, lower blood pressure, and an increase in mindfulness and awareness. It supports better sleep, boosts energy and increases the ability to concentrate.
Savasana allows all these changes that we just spent the last hour or two in class working hard on to fully integrate into our bodies and minds.