What should you be thinking about during savasana?

We’ve all been there… it’s been a good class with plenty of poses that have challenged, stretched and engaged us, and then teacher instructs to get comfy for savasana. To let our bodies sink into the mat, to relax. And then all the thoughts start rolling in…

“What am I having for tea…”

“I mustn’t forget to email that person…”

“Did anyone else hear the noise my tummy just made?!”

Savasana (or corpse pose) can be the hardest pose because there’s nothing to do but be there in it.

As a society, we are normally so busy, going from one thing to the next, and savasana is just the opposite. It is an opportunity to be still, without distraction. This can be so hard! Our brains can be our own worst enemy when it comes to relaxation, trying to get us lost in thoughts and stories, instead of letting us be.

So are you really supposed to lie there? Yes, enjoy the stillness! If thoughts do bubble up to the surface, acknowledge them, but then release them. Don’t start attaching judgement or reasoning, simply let them go. A yoga teacher once told me that it’s like being in a traffic jam, where the cars are thoughts, but then you lift up and out of them in a hot air balloon. You can still see the cars but you’re not stuck amongst them anymore.

Try to enjoy those last few precious minutes of class where no one needs anything from you and you don’t have to do anything. Give yourself permission to relax – even if it is the middle of the day and you didn’t get a chance to press send on that message before you started your practice. It will still be waiting for you after the class. Give yourself permission to take that time to rest here and now.

Savasana comes with practise, and you need to be somewhere that you feel safe to relax. If you’re in a class and feeling anxious then maybe have a word with the teacher to see what can be done to help you feel safer in that environment.

If you really struggle to switch off and relax, maybe try finding an affirmation that you can repeat to yourself that resonates with you. Something like:

I am safe, I am warm, I am loved.

I am safe, I am calm, I am relaxed.

You will find the right words for you.

But, over time, you can feel yourself relax and even enjoy savasana. Enjoy not attaching on to the thoughts that bubble up, enjoy witnessing what arises and then letting them go.

Try it this evening. Find a place where you feel safe and cosy and lie down for ten minutes. Corpse pose is how it sounds: lie on your back and let your body completely relax – let your legs and feet lie how they wish, let the arms and body sink into the mat. Embrace the stillness. If this doesn’t feel good for your lower back you could try bending the knees and taking the feet as wide as the mat, allowing the knees to knock in towards each other and hold each other up (also known as active rest pose). Without distraction or self-judgement, take some time for you to relax.

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