Do this, bend that, look there, and switch this on are common cues you will hear for most yoga poses. Yet when we get to Savasana (Shav-asana) we’re expected to just know what to do.
It seems pretty simple right? Just lie back and relax? So why do some teachers call it the hardest pose of all or the most important pose of all?
Savasana is when we’re no longer doing yoga, we are being yoga. Savasana marks the turning point from the physical to the mental and spiritual aspects of yoga. Savasana is where we transition into stillness in both body and mind.
The meaning of Savasana
The English name for Savasana is Corpse Pose. Sounds morbid right? Well on the surface maybe, but once you understand the deeper intention and meaning of the pose it makes perfect sense. Yoga means unity. Uniting mind, body and spirit and merging this spirit with the collective consciousness or divine. Yoga is one-ness, inclusion and coming to that deep realisation that we all come from the same source. Upon achieving this unity, we reach Samadhi. Samadhi is the end goal of yoga, the eighth limb of yoga, a permanent state of bliss The biggest barrier to achieving Samadhi and unity is our ego. It is our ego, our small mind which creates separation.
The goal of any spiritual practice is to dissolve the ego, that which separates us from the whole. Yoga has often been described as the martial art of soul, with our ego as our greatest enemy. Without ego, without the sense of feeling disconnected from the whole, without our small mind, we can access our higher states of consciousness.
Corpse pose symbolises the death of the ego. Savasana represents the end of separateness and the dissolution of false reality. We no longer resist and suffer in our limited sense of ‘I’, we feel a deep sense of belonging, of connection and of one-ness with everything.
Pretty intense right? That’s because yoga has the ability to transform our lives and all transformations require leaving something behind, emerging from our cocoon. The alchemy in yoga takes place when we gain mastery over our mind, when we are no longer a slave to our thoughts, when we realise our true self and when we have direct experience of reality.
Physically the pose is easy, so why is it so hard?
Transcending ego is a life-long journey. It’s not something that we accomplish in a couple of yoga classes. Here’s some tips to help you out.
|X Do less of this||✔ Do more of this|
|Think about what’s for breakfast/lunch/dinner||Feel the sensations in your body|
|Write your ‘to do’ list||Observe your breath|
|Wonder when the class will be over||Relax your body|
|Pick your nose, feet or face||Let your mind become still|
|Check out what everyone else is doing||Feel your own energy|
|Fill this time with thinking, analysis, planning and problem-solving||Feel that you are more than your body, more than your thoughts, more than your limited sense of ‘I’|