Philosophy, Principles & Inspiration: Restorative Yoga Part 1
- Savasana and other restorative poses are intended to provide the experience of “not doing.”
- However, when the body is “not doing,” the mind may either become overly active or sleepy. The challenge is to relax the body and to stay mindful and alert.
- Savasana—a restorative pose built into every class—is designed to provide the opportunity for integration of the practice.
- Using imagery can help students to relax and go deeper.
The Pose to Master
Every pose you ever master you’re going to lose. Except one: Savasana. That’s the pose to master. – Leslie Kaminoff
The Value of Not Doing
A lot of people don’t understand or appreciate the value of not doing. But a lot of traditional yoga is just that. The idea is that you’re already doing something that is interfering with your self-awareness, your self-understanding. And that rather than doing something to fix it, what’s really necessary is to undo what’s getting in the way, which means a need for surrender, a letting go. To a certain extent, that’s what you get a taste of in Savasana… I just get a feeling that I’m closer to myself. At my stage of yoga development, I feel very keenly that there’s a separation, that I don’t really know who or what I truly am, and that when I perform Savasana well that I get a clearer sense of the underlying truth of myself, the underlying being. – Richard Rosen
A Deliberate Rest for Integrating
Savasana is a resting pose, but the resting we do is active; it is about integrating what we’ve learned – yes, a radical idea in itself. But most striking to me, Savasana is structured into the practice. We’re not left to find some quiet time later; we’re led to it by the hand. Were it not part of the drill, I’d simply roll up my mat and head home. I know this about myself. More important, yoga knows this about me, hence the built-in Savasana. – Chris Colin
The Challenge of Savasana
According to the teachings, Savasana isn’t really about relaxation. In fact, I’ve heard Savasana described as the most difficult of all yoga postures. A posture in which, bodies completely still, we are challenged to keep our minds focused. The pose is named “Corpse Pose” for a reason. We are to act as if our bodies had dissolved away — as if were already dead, so to speak. When practiced this way, Savasana is a powerful tool. It can help us momentarily become less identified with our bodies and less attached to the trappings of our lives… The next time you rest in that final yoga pose, try not to simply melt into rest and oblivion. Don’t fall asleep, either literally or figuratively. Instead, stay truly awake, in a sort of resting meditation. Lie still, in complete silence, present with the sensations of your body and completely aware of the random thoughts of your mind. Use that time to connect with the beauty and perfection that is already within you. – Tracy Weber