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I Saw You in Savasana

March 24, 2012

I saw you in Savasana the other day.

Yeah you…the Wiggling Fingers Fellow. Your entire body eventually became still, save for those flicking, feeling, wiggly fingers. I wonder – do you even know you’re doing it? Probably not.

Yeah you…the Sleepy Snoring Snoozer. Maybe you had a rough day, or a bad night’s sleep. I get it, you’re just really tired. I’m ok with it, just know that your fellow yogis can hear you.

Yeah you…the Wide-Eyed Ceiling Gazer.  I’m not sure what your thing is…afraid to close your eyes? Anxious? Too awake? Didn’t hear me say “gently close your eyes”? It’s cool.

Yeah you…the Total Body Twitcher. You just can’t sit still. I feel ya – pretending to be a corpse can be a hard part to play.

Yeah you…the Dead as a Doornail Dudette. You got the physical part down. Relaxed, still yet awake. I can only guess how the mental component is going for you. I’m hoping for the best.

Yeah you…the Savasana Skipper. You actually got up and left before we even got there. Maybe it’s too hard for you. Maybe you don’t see the point. Maybe you had somewhere more important to be. Just a note – there’s isn’t much more that irritates a yoga teacher than an Savasana Skipper. That gives me idea for another post.

Which one are you? I dare not typify everyone I see in Savasana, the final relaxation we do at the end of every yoga class, but I can’t help but wonder how it’s going for you. I get to watch because I’m the teacher, but I can only measure effect by your presence during and after. Or if you tell me about it.

Why am I writing about this? Because this pose, nay this practice, at the end of every yoga class, is often misunderstood and confusing, and challenging. So here are …

5 Tips of What To Do in Savasana

1. Get comfy and hold still. Relax on the floor. Use blankets under your knees, eye pillows, neck bolsters, whatever it is you need to lie comfortably still on the floor. If your back is achy, which is common, ask the teacher for help. Please.

2. Stay awake. As best you can. I teach a lot of Restorative Yoga and I totally understand that sometimes you just need to pass out. But the practice is actually to be done in a relaxed state of alertness.

3. Let go of doing. See if you can first relax all of your muscles by first mentally scanning through your body and second trying your best to relax any that are tensing. Then imagine even your bones becoming heavy. Let go of any breathing techniques like deep belly breathing or ujayi. Breathe naturally – it’ll likely be pretty shallow – totally fine.

4. Let go of efforting. Not only should you try your best to physically relax, but do you best also to relax mentally. Let your senses become kind of soft, let your mind wander naturally as it does. If you’re having a really tough time and the mind is completely racing, then treat this practice like a meditation and practice following the breath. Just observe the breath as it flows gently in and out of your nostrils.

5. Fake it til you make it. I totally get it. This pose and practice is just really hard for some people. If that’s you, don’t get up, don’t move, just practice practice practice and do the 4 steps above. I promise one day this pose will find you if you wait patiently for it.

Oh and lastly – Enjoy It! Just for fun here are some animals from the interwebs enjoying savasana. Hilarious.

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