Savasana Corpse Pose

Imagine passing a poster with the above three words in large letters. They all mean the same thing but would recognise it as such? Yoga is very popular and many would understand the association. Nevertheless, I expect an overall incomprehension.

Savasana is a Sanskrit word and is translated as a Corpse Pose. Both of these words are much less in use than the favourite word Relaxation. At the end of the yoga class pupils are asked to lie down and relax.

We are all familiar with the word Relaxation but, even in this case, the image will differ widely. The true meaning of the word is cessation of activity or diminution of tension yet we will most likely associate this word with leisure or catnapping.

I feel that all this misunderstanding can be clarified and I will now attempt to do just that.

At the end of a yoga session most people look forward to hearing the word Relaxation. I found that new students are most keen. Their approach to yoga practice is largely based to trying to do more than they are capable of and naturally they feel tired. Students practising yoga for many years learnt to allow the body to do its best and learnt that letting go makes each pose easy and enjoyable. In other words, there is no need for a separate session of relaxation if one practices yoga in a relaxed manner.

Saying that, I will now go back to Savasana and explain the true purpose of it. If you fall asleep you will miss a great opportunity to practice the art of letting go. While practising doing nothing a great deal of healing takes place. The pose give you time to absorb asanas you have practiced. It is not a state of passivity but of alert watchfulness. We are asked to do nothing more than breathe and watch. There is beauty in the acceptance of what is.

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