“Exhale corpse pose savasana …” Here marks the end of a yoga class. The lights are dimmed the lowest setting. You may be cued to release the jaw, or drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth. You may hear ambient music, the release of breath from your neighbor, the sounds of the instructor’s hands rubbing together, or the wisp of a towel being fanned through the room.
So, is it a nap?
Savasana pose is a fully conscious but also a fully relaxed pose – and it’s not an easy one. It is normal for the mind to scramble and to resist deep relaxation. The minimum amount of time for Savasana is two minutes but rarely would you experience Savasana more than 4 or 5 in a studio.
In line with Yoga International, “The purpose of Savasana is to learn to just be, a colossal challenge.” Finding Savasana means observing every moment in stillness without judgement.
Learning to just be is not mutually exclusive Savasana but rather the all-encompassing practice of Yoga.
Guiding students there may mean describing ways to settle into the right head space. The parasympathetic nervous system can give your brain the impression that it is safe to relax when being cued into Savasana on an audible exhale. Some other ways are more verbal, like saying “Let your body feel heavy. With every exhale imagine sinking softly further into your mat. Breathe out longer than you breathe in.”
While some descriptors to start may be helpful, becoming silent as an instructor would be imminent unless a restorative yoga session were to take place. That way the students can take full ‘practice’ of this posture.
Savasana is arguably one of the most difficult yoga postures to achieve.