BY HALEY BEVERS
Everyone secretly knows we all await the last pose of a yoga class, the final pose, called corpse pose or savasana.
It’s a universal favorite! Sava means “corpse” in Sanskrit and asana means “pose.”
We start by laying on our mats like a corpse, body heavy and relaxin
g as deep as we possibly can into the earth. Physiologically the main goal is to be comfortable with the legs straight out as the feet flop open and the arms lay by your side at 45 degrees with your palms facing upward toward the sky. So far, so good.
Then you turn your focus to releasing any tension in your fingers, joints, and muscles. This is the time where you make a complete shift from the sympathetic nervous system into the parasympathetic nervous system. It is in the parasympathetic nervous system our deepest healings occur at a cellular level where lasting change can be accomplished.
You can rest and digest in this pose. It truly is a reset button. When the parasympathetic nervous system becomes dominant we experience a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, pupils of the eyes contract, increase in digestive enzymes, our brainwaves shift towards an alpha state, our adrenals calm down allowing a softer state, and relaxation and drowsiness wash over our bodies.
Daily life moves quickly but the point of this pose is to go as slow as possible.
A fundamental strategy to this pose is to practice “death.” The Buddha and the Christ both said that death and life are a daily practice. Christ said to “die daily.” Even in nature there is death and then the rebirth as we go through the seasons.
Internally, death and life are always happening even at a cellular level. I think as yogis we must make time to practice this “dying”.
How do we this?
You are already doing it by practicing yoga. In many ways, yoga is a practice of death – learning to peel back the ego and experience a death of the egoic-self, leaving more room for light and life.
This is the reason for savasana. To lie flat on the ground connected to mother earth as you allow death followed by a cleaning and renewing of your soul. You might experience a flowing of physical tears or sometimes just a silent sigh as you feel a heaviness leave your body. We all process this version of “dying” in our own way.
In summary, lets practice this pose more often. What if you could lay in savasana 2-3 times a day in 5-minute intervals? I love taking savasana after lunch or right before dinner so I can settle my energy and come back into my body. Your intention is to touch the deepest silence, the deepest emptiness, the deepest space within you. Enjoy ☺
Ramblings from Haley’s mat……