Savasana is said to be the easiest pose to do, but the most difficult to master. The basic physical pose is relatively simple (though there are lots of little things that can be and are debated among yogis). Lay down on your back with the legs and arms extended and slightly apart. The feet should roll out comfortably and the palms should face up. Try and extend the body by lengthening the heels away from the hips and the hips away from the shoulders. Some people like a bolster underneath the knees and/ or an eye pillow to block out light. It can be helpful to scan the body and try to completely relax all the muscle groups as you go. Let gravity pull the muscles away from the bones. You are looking to quiet the nervous system and release all tension in the body. Resist the urge to move during Savasana as movement or even the impulse to move increases the activity of motor neurons and impedes relaxation. Physically, Savasana give the body a chance to incorporate the work done in the rest of the practice, increasing the Prana available to the body.
Now empty the mind and let go of all attachments. Easy, right? The pose is said to prepare our minds for the death of the body (hence the name) and in order to master requires total and complete surrender. It it this practice of letting go and relaxing the mind that is so beneficial. Even in sleep, the mind races. Most of us find very little time to simply be, without all of the planning or mulling over of the days events that can be so easy to get caught up in. It can be difficult and even seem impossible to let those thoughts go, but with time, it will become easier to release these attachments and simply be.
Various sources give various rules of thumb for how long you should stay in Savasana. Iyengar recommends 5 minutes for every 30 minutes of practice, though it varies widely.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!