Savasana (shah-VAHS-anna) — king of restorative yoga poses — is often referred to as ‘final relaxation’ because it is typically done at the end of every yoga class. But, it can be done anytime, and almost anywhere. There are a number of variations of this pose, but the one I want to introduce you to today is called Stonehenge Savasana. A look at the photo on the right will be self-explanatory. :)
To set up the pose, place a rectangular bolster on top of two yoga blocks as shown in the photo. If you don’t have yoga props at home, you can improvise with two shoeboxes or belting some books together to make a ‘mock block,’ and place a firm-ish sofa pillow on top of it. To come into the pose, lie on your back with your calves on the bolster, feet splayed out. Once you are in a comfortable position, simply be there for at least 10 minutes. To come out of the pose, hug your knees into your chest, then roll gently onto one side, into a fetal position. Take 2 or 3 breaths there. With another exhalation press your hands against the floor and lift your torso, letting your head be the last thing to come up, as you slowly rise to a comfortable seated position. Take a moment here to to feel the restorative effects of savasana.
Benefits of Savanna:
There are many powerful benefits of this yoga pose. It induces the relaxation response, wherein your breathing slows, blood pressure lowers, and energy is drawn from the extremities of the body toward the vital organs. It is highly nourishing and regenerative and can leave you feeling more refreshed and replenished than a typical night of sleep. Savasana limits the discomfort of headaches by increasing blood flow to the brain, reduces insomnia, boosts mood, and relieves stress, anxiety, irritability and muscle tension.
• Place your arms along side the body, about 45-degrees from the torso, with your palms facing up. It’s nice to roll up two washcloths and place them in your palms, as you see in the photo. • Using an eye pillow, scarf, or hand towel to cover your eyes will help induce a deeper state of relaxation. • Although savasana is a pose of total relaxation, you shouldn’t fall asleep. • A restless mind and sleepiness can prevent you from obtaining the benefits of savasana. Modulate your breath to help with these situations: If you are sleepy, take longer and more frequent breath inhalations. If you are feeling restless, focus on your breathing or any body sensations to stop your mind from wandering. • Savasana is a great alternative to that 3p latté. Much healthier, and it will leave you MORE refreshed!