What do you think is the most challenging pose in yoga? Is it Scorpion, the ultimate test of balance and flexibility? Or maybe it’s One-Handed Tree pose which requires a crazy amount of strength and balance? According to many yogis, however, the hardest pose to both perform and master is Savasana or Corpse Pose. Surprised? You’re not alone.
The first time you ever perform Savasana, it feels more like a yogi nap than a posture. It’s often a relief to lie down and not have to move, allowing all the hard work to soak in and your muscles to rest before you have to enter the real world again. What you don’t realize until you’re a minute into it is that the key element of Corpse pose is the hardest thing anyone can try to do: “Relax.”
What Stops Us
The art of doing nothing is lost on us. We fill our lives with activities and believe that the moment we stop moving, we stop making progress. In reality, it’s the constant go go go that produces stress, anxiety, depression, high blood pressure – all things that Savasana cures. Many people turn to yoga as a way to find peace in their bodies and minds. They diligently practice gravity-defying asanas and contortionist postures, but then they lie down into Savasana and worry about what to make for dinner, why their kids have low grades, how much longer this pose lasts, etc. Even the most advanced yogis can have trouble shutting off the constant background noise.
Some yogis have the opposite problem. Once they’ve quieted their mind and allow their bodies to relax, they drift off to light sleep. In true Savasana, you should be entirely conscious. Not napping, not even half asleep, but 100% awake and aware. It is like a kind of meditation, and the goal of meditation is lost if you are not conscious and able to experience it.
How many of us can focus solely on breathing? It has been estimated that people have an average of 35 to 48 thoughts per minute! If Savasana lasts 5 minutes, that’s between 175 and 240 thoughts that we have to contend with.
How To Get Better
You won’t get better at any pose without constant practice, and Savasana is no exception. Here are a few simple things that may help you achieve ultimate relaxation:
Benefits Of Savasana
How To Perform Savasana
Lie on your back with your arms out at your sides, palms facing up. Spread out your legs slightly, giving each limb its own space. Mentally scan your body for any signs of tension, and breathe into those areas, letting them go. Feel your body melting into the floor. Pay attention to your breath, but don’t force it. Simply notice the in and out rhythm. If any thoughts drift into your mind, let them come in and pass through without giving them any more attention. Just lay there, breathe, and make your mind experience nothing.