Don’t Skip the Savasana

Now here’s where I try to get deep and pull a life lesson out of yoga.

Nothing beats a good savasana. If you aren’t a yogi and have no idea what savasana is, it’s when you lay in corpse pose at the end of a yoga class for a few minutes. Corpse pose is exactly what it sounds like: laying flat on your back with all your muscles completely relaxed.

Savasana is like meditation. You try to clear all thoughts from your mind and breathe naturally (no controlled breathing sequences, like some meditation suggests). However, whether or not you are able to really meditate during savasana depends on the teacher in my opinion.

This may sound a little corny, but some of the happiest moments of my life have been laying in savasana.  For me, if the song is just right, something very blissful and peaceful just clicks. Here are my two favorite songs that I have experienced during savasana:

Sometimes savasana in silence is nice too, but I prefer relaxing music. There is a fine line between finding a relaxing song that moves you and one that is a little too upbeat. Finding a yoga teacher with a great taste in music is like finding gold. I’ve pondered becoming certified in teaching yoga, however I haven’t leapt at it yet. But maybe one day I’ll be that teacher for someone else.

I was inspired to write this post after a class I went to a few weeks ago. The teacher played the James Vincent McMorrow song above and gave the best mini massage ever. The benefit of going to smaller studios is that your chance of getting a nice little 10-second shoulder/neck massage during savasana greatly increases.

Ending yoga class with a great savasana leaves me in this “yoga bliss” that usually lasts about an hour after the class is done. It is grounding and closes the class. However, a bad savasana leaves me unfulfilled and definitely not as relaxed; the class feels unfinished. This doesn’t happen often. Most of the time savasana is pretty nice and then there are the really great times every once in a while.

The worst savasana I have ever experienced was when the teacher straight up left the room and told us to “stay in savasana as long as you want and leave the room when you are ready.” What, do you have a meeting or something? You can’t stay a few extra minutes to do your job and guide us out of it? Her instruction resulted in about 30 seconds of corpse pose followed by the shuffling of people rolling up their mats and the door opening and closing as people left the room. It was so distracting that I just followed suit and left the room as quietly as I could.

IMG_4254It’s like working on a paper and not bothering to proofread it before you hand it in. Why put in all the effort of the whole class just to leave it unfinished? The lesson I wanted to pull out of this experience was that if you are going to put your time and energy into something, do it wholeheartedly and see it through to the end. Finish your projects, complete that goal, and stick it through, whatever “it” may be.

I love yoga because it is different for everybody. Every once in a while I like sweating until I can sweat no more in a hot yoga sesh and leaving looking like I just jumped into a pool. But most of the time I’d rather not slip out of every pose because I’m too sweaty. I enjoy yoga for both the spiritual and physical benefits. Some people just like it for the workout, and that’s fine if it fulfills that need for them. But I do think they are missing out if the only class they ever take is Sculpt at CorePower and don’t embrace the spirituality of yoga.

A yoga class can fill any little hole that you have that day. Whether you are in need of a good stretch, a pose that makes you feel strong and powerful, a chance to meditate during a busy day, or in my case recently, a reminder to put energy into everything I do, yoga can do that for you. I encourage anyone who has never done yoga before to give it a shot, and please, don’t skip the savasana.

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