I always wanted one of those shirts that said “I’m only here for the Savasana”.
For as long as I’ve been practising yoga, it’s been my favourite part. If you’re here with me reading this, my guess is that you feel the same?
That’s why, in this episode, we’re discussing the subtle magic of Savasana to soothe your nervous system and why it's a pose you won’t ever want to skip.
I’ll also lead you through a guided, supported Savasana session with my best tips on how to set up with props for deep rest.
Savasana, or “corpse pose” seals in your practice and allows your body to relax and recalibrate by inviting it into a deeply restful and supportive state.
It may look as though you’re just lying on the floor, but there’s so much magic happening below the surface.
As you land in the safety of your own container, you tap into your body’s natural ability to heal itself from the inside out. Savasana encourages rest and the repair of tissues. Anxiety and tension melt away as you balance your nervous system and activate your body’s relaxation response. In times of stress, it’s like pressing the reset button on yourself.
But even though lying down is something that we, as humans, do very well, I just want to acknowledge that for some people, myself included at times, Savasana can be a struggle.
Distracted by our “monkey minds”, it feels hard to switch off and relax. This ability to drop in can change day to day.
The first step is just giving yourself permission to rest.
Once you’re in Savasana, just be.
After all, we’re human beings not doings.
This is your true nature.
It’s a practice and process of unlearning as you unravel years of programming that you should always be busy. I also encourage you to be a witness and explore your inner landscape with a sense of curiosity, over judgement, using that to anchor you right in the present moment.
But, whatever you do, please don’t skip Savasana!
It leaves so much undone.
Like my teacher, Eoin Finn says, it’s like going through the whole process to make a cake - gathering the ingredients, mixing them, pouring them into the baking tin and then not putting it in the oven!
You’re also leaving yourself open to leaking energy if you don’t close your sacred container down after your practice.
Let’s try it together now if you’re able to lie down safely.
If you need a visual, check out the special bonus video tutorial I made for you in the show notes.
For this supported version, you’ll need a bolster and 3 blankets. If you don’t have props at home, you can use anything that’s similar in shape.
Set yourself up in Savasana by lying down with the bolster behind your knees, a rolled blanket (or a cushion or 2 blocks) beneath your ankles and a folded blanket with the edge rolled up to support the natural curve of your neck. This really helps to activate your body’s relaxation response and release any tension you might be holding there.
To get the most of the pose, place another folded blanket, on top of your belly or pelvis. Another option here is to use a sandbag or pillow. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, the extra weight creates a soothing, grounding sensation and helps you feel safe and rooted.
Now, let your feet flop open and turn your palms up towards the sky, relaxing your hands and allowing yourself to receive whatever it is you need in this moment. Let it be your medicine. Feel your body sinking deeper into the earth and let it feel your weight fully. Breathe down into your belly. Relax more with every expansion and contraction of your diaphragm. This full-belly breathing stimulates the vagus nerve and soothes your nervous system. Let go of any tension in your belly, so that more of your pelvis and ribcage sink towards the floor. Your belly rises and falls effortlessly with each breath in and out.
Soften your forehead and relax your brain. Allow any stress in your jaw, neck and throat to melt away. It’s like the pulsations in your body are slowing down and you’re tuning in to a network of inner wisdom that you were too busy to notice before, but now you plug into it. This is where the healing really happens. There’s no need to force anything. Just breathe and receive. Peace in your body. Peace in your mind. Peace in your heart.
Rest here from anywhere between 5 and 25 minutes, with your body fully supported by your props and the earth.
If you need a permission slip, this is it. Allow yourself to relax and be at ease.
Stay here as long as you like and when you’re ready, start to deepen your breath. Stir your body by sending tiny flickers of movement through your fingers and toes. And then, gently float your eyes back open to the room.
Thanks so much for listening! If you’re ready to go deeper, I have a free mini yoga retreat waiting for you over at pranapatchouli.com/retreat. It’ll help you find emotional ease, fill up your cup and follow the whispers of your soul.
All you have to do is head over there now and enter your name and email for instant access.
I’ll be back next week with a brand new episode, so until then, from my heart to yours, Namaste.