Savasana, also known as corpse pose, is an essential part of every yoga practice. It’s that relaxation time that synthesizes a well-rounded asana practice. But why do we do it and why does every yoga class usually end with this pose?
For some yogis, savasana is their favorite pose. With all the strenuous asanas of yoga practice complete, it’s time to rest. It feels good to soak up all the benefits of our physical practice. It allows our body and mind to integrate and to drop into that blissful sensation that yoga gives us. By practicing corpse pose, we’re able to lengthen those feelings of relaxation, rather than jumping off our yoga mat as soon as we’re done and rushing back into the whirlwind of our busy lives.
To Practice Pratyahara
Patanjali teaches us that pratyahara, one of The Eight Limbs of Yoga, is a necessary step along the journey to enlightenment. Meditation is one way to practice pratyahara, or sense withdrawal, and so is savasana. When we move inward, we allow space for our intuition to speak to us. We allow space for deep insights to arise and space for our bodies to fall into the earth, getting deeply grounded. This grounding takes place as we drop back into our body and let the chatter of our mind find stillness. (Learn more about The 8 Limbs of Yoga.)
To Reset Our Nervous System
As we lie in corpse pose, our nervous system has time to reset. It gets a chance to be calmed and soothed, allowing our body’s innate healing mechanisms to kick in. Restoration, rejuvenation and recovery all take place – essential for maintaining a healthy body and mind post-workout. (Learn more about Mind-Body Health and Happiness.)
What’s more, savasana gives you energy. This is important as our energy tends to get drained by numerous things throughout the day and sometimes even when we sleep. The more you practice savasana, the more energy you’ll have.
If you find yourself wanting to get up after your home yoga practice, or skip out early as your teacher guides the class into savasana, remember its benefits and that the more you allow yourself to let it ground you, the more you’ll fall in love with it. (Read more in Getting Grounded: What it Means and How to Get It.)