written by Amy Stephens
At the end of a yoga practice you should feel like you are ready to just lay down and rest, cuz you have been moving and cranking out yoga postures that you are not use to doing.
Thus, Savasana (sha-va-san-ah) was created! I refer to Savasana as Nap Time because the goal is to lay down and rest. The literal Sanskrit transition is Corpse Pose, to lay still, to be still.
Note I said Goal!
For many it is a time to do just that, for others it is the time they look at their watch or tap their fingernails or feel absolutely tortured!
I personally love the time at the end to reconnect to my mat and feel all those muscles and joints that have lengthened and opened up. The time to listen to the fullness of my breath and feel the beat of my heart. It slows down the nervous system and my mind.
But again there are those who are about to leap off their mat to race out of the studio space!
Instead of fighting the mind – ride the breath.
Instead of fighting with relaxation – give thanks to body.
So many things rise up during yoga and really your body needs that down time to realign and rejuvenate. Next time you wind down your yoga practice, embrace your Nap Time! I never did as a kid so I take full advantage as an adult!
When I first started teaching yoga in 1998 I did a 10-15 minute Savasana for my students and they really sunk deep into relaxation, some even snored. Nowadays, you are lucky to get a 5 minute block of time in an active practice to rest up. That is why I enjoy teaching Yin and Restorative classes, even though you are in a posture hanging out over your props you get to slow down the nervous system and listen to breath. The simple act of breathing in and breathing out is something we take for granted so find a mantra (repetition of words) best for you –
- Inhale – peacefulness Exhale – peacefulness
- Breathing in love Exhaling love
- I am light I am releasing light
- Count slowly to 4 as you inhale and slowly to 8 as you exhale
Enjoy some extra naps during the online yoga classes offered through YogaAmy.net and take a journey to a quiet far off land on your own by listening to your beautiful breath! Or join us in person for our Yoga Nidra practice at AZ Healing Center, view schedule here.