Meaning Behind The Posture Savasana: Practicing The Art Of Doing Nothing

When your yoga class involves an finish and the trainer invitations everybody to lie down in Savasana, what runs by way of your thoughts? For some, these couple of minutes of stillness are a possibility to chill out and re-set earlier than getting into again right into a busy life. For others, mendacity in Savasana or ‘corpse pose’ because it not-so-soothingly interprets, invitations a sudden stream of ideas and worries, ruminations about work deadlines and the inevitable “what shall I make for dinner?” interior voice. For you, does Savasana symbolize a couple of minutes of leisure, an inconvenient addition to your apply, or a posture whereby you actively apply what my good friend and founding father of The Motion (a hybrid on-line yoga studio and soon-to-be studio in Sussex) Emily Scott calls The Art of Doing Nothing. She says; “Savasana is typically often called corpse pose, however I consider it as stillness plus presence. There’s an influence within the stillness as we proceed to tune in, watch ourselves, let the bottom totally maintain us, and reap the advantages of doing completely nothing”. 


When the bodily apply of yoga started – arguably some 5,000 years in the past – the postures appeared very completely different to the shapes we’d recognise at school right this moment, and the intention behind lots of them was completely different too. Particularly throughout the Tantra custom, the main focus was on the energetic results of every form, motion and respiratory method. Again then, nearly all of identified postures focussed upon elevating vitality, and different vigorous strategies reminiscent of kappalabhati (‘skull-shining breath’), Bellows Breath, or kriyas like ‘Nauli’ (a way involving utilizing the stomach muscle tissue to ‘churn’ the abdomen) appeared to cleanse and purify the physique’s bodily and energetic channels. On the finish of those forceful practices (in lots of contexts, Hatha Yoga interprets because the ‘yoga of drive’), Savasana was launched to encourage the thoughts and physique right into a state of leisure and restoration.


Demise As A part of Life

The first identified point out of Savasana is within the 15th century textual content the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, which says; “mendacity full size on the again like a corpse is named Shavasana. With this asana, tiredness attributable to different asanas is eradicated; it additionally promotes calmness of the thoughts.” To confer with a ‘corpse’ is one thing Western practitioner are inclined to draw back from – our relationship with dying, dying and the thriller of what could lie past is one thing so many people are shielded from all through childhood, which means that when we’ve got to take care of the passing of mates and kin in later life we’ve got no level of reference or instruments to take care of it. Although it’s the one a part of life we will actually assure, we are inclined to spend a lot of the time in denial of it, thus including extra struggling to the method. Within the East nevertheless, dying is overtly mentioned and accepted. Demise rituals and ceremonies are sometimes public and seen as a typical celebration in India, and in lots of components of Asia, it’s not the dying that’s mourned, however the life effectively lived that’s celebrated. While we could not all select to ponder dying while mendacity in Savasana, the posture can function a method to redefine our relationship with life; honouring all beginnings and ends, the mandatory cycles of ups and downs, mild and darkish, and the chance to have interaction extra with every day we’ve got right here.


Accepting Tiredness & Selecting To Cease

One thing else we will study from different cultures is the apply of taking common breaks to relaxation when wanted. From the Spanish siesta and the riposo in Northern Italy, to the hour-long post-lunch nap in China that’s seen as a constitutional proper; these cultures have normalised the apply of resting. While taking naps and pausing to relaxation is a cultural norm in lots of components of the world, within the US and the UK, we appear to have adopted the “you’ll be able to sleep if you’re useless” preferrred first coined by Benjamin Franklin. Resting or admitting the necessity to relaxation has for therefore lengthy been a taboo topic amongst the ever-growing demographic with an ‘achievement’ mindset. Emily says; “On this fast-paced fashionable world, it’s usually simpler to maneuver shortly, circulate quicker, and keep in movement than it’s to be nonetheless. Most of us are conditioned to push by way of our days, to grip our muscle tissue to do extra, and to not cease shifting as a result of we’ve got a lot to get achieved. We regularly discover it tough to ‘do nothing.’ However possibly doing nothing is the best present we can provide ourselves and Savasana is the right alternative. Savasana is an opportunity to let the bodily apply and the breathwork we’ve achieved begin to settle and combine deep in our being.  It’s an opportunity to discharge the nervous system, reset and actually relaxation”.


What number of instances have you ever felt drained, exhausted or empty, however refused to let your self relaxation? What number of instances have you ever felt the necessity to cease, nap or just sit, however fully ignored this want within the pursuit of finishing your to do checklist? With immediate messaging, overflowing electronic mail inboxes, and an ever-demanding work and social schedule, there’s at all times one thing to be achieved, completed, achieved or improved upon. Relaxation is a grimy phrase, slowing down is for the weak, and never getting sufficient sleep earns coveted badges of honour. While we could also be advancing as a society in leaps and bounds when it comes to scientific discoveries, technological innovations and the flexibility to speak throughout 1000’s of miles on the contact of a button, we’re shifting backwards in the case of contentment, stillness, quietness and self-acceptance. We’re shifting backwards in the case of listening to our innate wants and responding to them appropriately and naturally. After I say we, in fact I’m referring to a really generalised and Westernised model of the inhabitants. Possibly you enable your self stillness and recuperation, possibly you know your self, your thoughts and physique, and what they require, and fortunately, the apply of actively selecting to do nothing is being championed by the wellness world increasingly more right this moment.


After we’re drained, temper ranges deteriorate quickly, insulin resistance is compromised, and our means to remodel meals to vitality principally disappears together with any hope of getting balanced hormones. Adrenal glands work additional time, and finally we cease residing and loving life and as a substitute merely attempt to get by way of the day. What would occur nevertheless, if we simply stopped? Stopped obsessing over becoming into garments one dimension smaller, stopped making an attempt to seem like what we assume is ‘excellent’, stopped making an attempt to win the productiveness prize, the most effective mom award? What if we stopped making an attempt to be something aside from probably the most uncooked and sincere, pure model of ourselves? If we took extra moments to cease fully – whether or not or not it’s for a nap on the couch, a meditation session, a second of peace with a cup of tea, or inside these minutes in Savasana on the finish of a yoga class – maybe we’d have the ability to faucet into the deeper which means behind the straightforward act of mendacity on the bottom: to be nonetheless, to relaxation, to calm the thoughts, to hone the talent and apply The Art of Doing Nothing….


To study extra about The Motion and be part of on-line courses, go to and to seek out out extra about the advantages of Savasana, learn this weblog put up ‘Why you should never skip this pose‘.

Posts Info

  • : London, UK

  • Emma is a 500hr certified Yoga trainer, musician, therapeutic massage therapist, prepare dinner, and author. Having grown up surrounded by Yoga and meditation, Emma started her apply at a younger age and has continued to review and develop her understanding of Yoga every day. Coaching internationally with inspirational academics, Emma’s passions now lie primarily in philosophy and Yoga off the mat. Emma at the moment teaches recurrently in Sussex, co-leading trainer trainings, retreats, workshops and kirtans, and in addition manages the Brighton Yoga Pageant.

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