5 Reasons Why You NEED Savasana

posted by Nancy Nelson

You show up for your favorite vinyasa class. You love it because it gets your heart beating. The music is always in perfect unison with your breath. When I Believe I Can Fly starts playing, your feet effortlessly lift from the earth as you hover in bakasana. You love that feeling of a good and challenging hold in chair pose (c’mon, you know you do. Nothing says “accomplishment” like toned quads). The sweat makes you feel productive and it even justifies that glass of wine (or two) you plan to have with dinner. The “optional” vinyasas are a joke, as you know that every vinyasa counts and gets you closer to that affordable and super cute swimsuit you just tried on at Target. Surely after all these sun salutations it will fit you better. You roll out your mat and you work hard. You make that 75 minutes worth it.

Okay, maybe not all of this is right on point. And maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but the truth is that we have all been there. Showing up for more of a workout than a practice. As a culture, we are very motivated to be the most successful, most popular, most attractive, etc. Now that we have cleared that up. You should know that if this is your perspective, you are cheating yourself out of all that yoga truly has to offer. Yoga teaches us to connect with what matters most to us beneath the surface. Any physical benefit is just the icing on the cake compared to the deep understanding of self that you gain. So it is important that you value every aspect of the practice. The physical, mental and spiritual.

This is why savasana is just so important. This particular part of the practice is meant to be a culmination of the venture as a whole. It is where you take in what you need from the time you spent on your mat. So why do we often leave early? Why do we allow our minds to wander? And why does our focus get so easily swayed to merely the physical benefits of the practice?

Below are 5 reasons why you should start making savasana your most important pose.

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  1. Balance – You’ve heard it said before, you need the yin & the yang. Imagine a river. At certain points it is calm & quiet. You can barely hear the water passing by. As you move down the river, the water turns into a fierce current so loud you can barely hear yourself think! The yang of your practice is the intensity. It’s the white water rafting of the yoga class. The yin is calm, steady flow of a stream running gently. You begin the practice in yin mode – introspection, slower movements, breath awareness, light stretching. As the class goes on, the heat builds and you transition to yang. This is where you might experience challenging standing sequences and peak poses. Once the kinks are worked out, you will notice things turning full circle. You begin to move back to those slower movements and you are able to perhaps see things a little more clearly. The absolute apex of this ending stillness, is your savasana. These few minutes are where you begin to notice the effects of yin & yang settling over you.
  2. 10644497_10205533026822455_6148191793515636676_nStillness – Let’s be honest, our society does not value peace & quiet in the every day. We all know we want it. When things start to get a little busy, we are so ready to just bust out in song, “CAN’T I JUST GET A LITTLE PEACE & QUIET!”. I catch myself thinking it when there’s actually no noise and my brain is just busy. This time in your final resting pose is your perfect peace and quiet. You’ve just spent 60 minutes working out the stress and noise of the day and all that’s left at the end of the practice is to soak up the space you’ve created for yourself. That space is peaceful, calm, and quiet as ever. Soak it up and watch it transform your perspective when you face the busy moments ahead of you.
  3. Observation – One of the amazing benefits of savasana is the ability to notice the difference that yoga has just made. As we go throughout our days, we don’t really take the time to notice how things affect us. We know something upset us when we were driving, but we don’t really stop to think about it. We know something made us laugh, but we aren’t quite sure why. We don’t spend time practicing gratitude for the happy moments. The time in savasana provides an excellent foundation for honest observation. It gives you the space to really gain some perspective on what actually happened and how it affected you. If it affected you in a negative way, you can observe and release. If it affected you positively, you can absorb the joy and extend some gratitude. Being able to see things for what they are makes life just a bit more calm and clear.
  4. Clarity – Often times we arrive on the mat a little cloudy. Our minds clouded with thoughts, emotions, concerns, ideas, fears, hopes and dreams – all jumbled up. It isn’t always all of this at once, of course. It could just be that you are trying to make an important decision about taking a new job. Perhaps a friend has hurt you and you’re trying to figure out how to confront the situation. Maybe you are feeling a bit bombarded by social media and you can’t seem to decipher between reality and “the cloud” world where everyone seems to have perfect lives. One of the sweetest moments on the mat is when you’ve sweat, you’ve stretched, and you’ve breathed with intention for an hour and you are able to part these clouds of confusion and find a bit more clarity and Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 6.26.22 PMperspective than when you first stepped in the studio for your practice. You leave feeling lighter and maybe a little more focused. We need this daily!
  5. Meditation – As you might imagine, it is a really challenging feat to just plop down and start meditating. The asana practice of yoga is meant to help clear some of the physical distraction that may get in the way of finding a comfortable meditation seat. Savasana kind of bridges the gap between asana and dharana (intense focus) then dhyana (state of meditation). Your yoga practice is meant to guide you into this state!

Meditation has many benefits. Here are just a few of them:

  • Stress relief
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Enhances positive outlook
  • Mental clarity
  • Helps you develop a better understanding of your passions/dreams
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Reduces physical inflammation

Oh by the way, Inspire is offering an instagram meditation challenge. Find out the details HERE

So savasana isn’t just a nap at the end of class? It isn’t meaningless? Nope! Remember all of this goodness the next time you are done with asana and it’s time to transition. Soak it up. The balance, the stillness, the observation, the clarity, and then afterward close with a seated meditation to really seal the deal.

Have you had any “aha” moments from your savasana or personal meditation practice? I would love to hear about your experiences. Drop me a comment below 🙂

Wife, daughter, sister, and friend. Not to mention world adventurer, dreamer, yogi, and diy obsessed. In the past few years I have gotten married and become a full-timer in the yoga world. A big turning point in my life was a few years ago when I lost a very dear friend of mine. He was 24 years old at the time. I learned a lot during that season, but one thing that I took away for sure is that life is precious, moments are precious, and even the seemingly ordinary moments are beautiful and brilliant. So I'm here to share as it seems fit. Connect with me. I'd love to hear from you!

4 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why You NEED Savasana

  1. I just came across these words and thouughts of yours as I browsed for possibility of beginning yoga practice somewhere I might fit in. I loved what you wrote and recognized how much I need the state of mind and body you describe as possible with savasana (and yoga). I am in all kinds of transitiion. My husband of 33 years just died on 11/06/15. My roles as wife, nurturer, caregiver, life partner and lover of this wonderful man are lost. I am 73 with a kidney transplant and an arthritic spine which limits some movement and affects my balance so I use a cane when I go out. In the midst of grieving, I know I need to take better care of myyself, find my new way, focus on spirituality. You helped me today.

    1. Hi Kate! Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate you being vulnerable and open in your sharing. I too found Inspire Yoga in a season of grieving as one of my dearest friends passed suddenly. Time on my mat became time for me to heal, to cry, to laugh and to grow. We would love to have you into the studio if you are local to the DFW area. I would recommend trying yin. This particular style helps release tension in the joints and can be very beneficial for arthritis. Just make sure to disclose your limitations to your instructor so they can help you out in each posture. You can view our class schedules at both locations here: http://www.inspireyoga.com/class-schedule/ If you are not local, see if you can find this particular style at studios in your area.

      If you have any more questions, you can email me at nancy@inspireyoga.com

      Thanks again for stopping by and sharing 🙂

  2. I can probably count on 1 hand the number of deep savasanas I’ve experienced. The kind where I’m almost in a dream state or “the zone.” Though not asleep from what I perceive. It’s a very satisfying way to end a class and in some cases, my whole day. Okay, I’m usually tired before these states, but I don’t think I’ve snored!

  3. A great commentary Nancy! My aha moment in savasana was the day that the words “Inspire Yoga” flashed through my mind at the end of a great practice. From there the ideas started flooding in for what would soon become Inspire Yoga. It all started from savasana!

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