Information taken from BKS Iyengar’s “Light on Yoga”
Savasana means ‘corpse pose’. In this asana the object is to imitate a corpse. Once life has departed, the body remains still and no movements are possible. By remaining motionless for some time and keeping the mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax. This conscious relaxation invigorates and refreshes both the body and mind. It is much harder to keep the mind still than the body. Therefore this apparently easy posture is one of the most difficult to master.
• Lie flat on your back, keep the hands away from the thighs with the palms facing up.
• Close the eyes. If possible place a cloth (or eyepillow) over the eyes. Keep the heels together and the toes apart.
• Begin by breathing deeply (through the nostrils). No jerky movements should disturb the spine or the body.
• Concentrate on deep and fine exhalations, in which the nostrils do not feel the warmth of the breath.
• The lower jaw should hang loose and not be clenched. The tongue should not be disturbed (Meaning it should not be pressing into the roof of the mouth). The pupils of the eyes should be kept completely passive.
• If the mind wanders, pause without any strain after each slow exhalation.
• Stay in the pose between 15-20 minutes. (Most yoga classes practice Savasana between 5 and 10 minutes. When practicing at home try to find time to practice for at least 10 minutes to gain all benefits).
When the nerves become passive, one feels energy flow from the back of the head towards the heels. One also feels as if the body is elongated.
• Chapter 1, Verse 32 of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika states ‘Lying upon one’s back on the ground at full length like a corpse removes fatigue caused by the other asanas and induces calmness of the mind’.
• Chapter 2, Verse 11 of the Gheranda Samhita states, ‘lying on the ground in Savasana destroys fatigue and quiets the agitation of the mind’
• The mind is the organ of the senses- the Prana or the “breath of life.” Steady, smooth breathing in Savasana is the best antidote to the stresses of modern civilization.
• Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
• Relaxes the body
• Reduces headache and insomnia
• Helps to lower blood pressure