Savasana, also known as corpse pose, is the most anatomically neutral position of any yoga practice.
Physically speaking, it’s the most ergonomic position of the human body. It reduces stress and fatigue on muscles and joints. It also helps lower blood pressure and slow respiration and reduce heart rate. In fact, most teachers say it’s the most important posture of the practice.
And yet, it’s profoundly challenging. Because the only thing savasana requires of you is to simply be. To surrender to your body’s itches and just let them tickle you. To take a ride on your sweat instead of trying to fix it.
As my teacher loves to say, relax and soak up everything you came to class to give yourself.
What’s interesting about savasana is, its basic principles can also be applied to life off the mat. Because it’s all about putting yourself in a neutral position. Not necessarily physically, but mentally and emotionally and spiritually.
I recently traveled thirty hours across the globe to deliver a presentation at a youth leadership conference. Malaysia was one of the most colorful and friendly and juicy countries I ever visited. The audience was engaged, the food was spicy and the weather felt like I never left the yoga class.
But what I loved most about the experience was, traveling there sent my mind to a neutral position. Because when you’re swimming in a waterfall in the middle of the jungle ten thousand miles away from home, with no cell phone or contact with the outside world, your inner life suddenly gets very clear and very quiet. Like taking a mental savasana. Finding the most ergonomic position of the human mind and allowing the stillness to swallow you whole.
And not surprisingly, by the time we returned home, I felt completely rejuvenated. Like I had just finished a seven day yoga class.
Dead body pose? Perhaps. But true savasana is when you feel most alive.
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