In trying to sort out the wisdom of savasana, I looked for the deep dark meaning.
I pondered the metaphysical crisis encountered when being told to turn oneself into a corpse (pose.)
Except that most people I have encountered in yoga classes look forward to savasana.
Some claim it is the reason they come to class in the first place! Our instructors knew if class got a late start, they needed to cut a few sun salutations. No one missed those. But a shortened savasana brought groans and complaints.
Sandy showed me the way.
She is not a great yoga companion, but she has the wisdom of savasana.
Unlike most humans, including me, Sandy does everything full on. If she is chasing a squirrel or digging a hole, she is totally in the moment, focused on the task at hand. If she is napping, she is totally in that moment. Sound asleep. Paws twitching in her dreams. That is the wisdom of savasana.
When she works, she works.
When she plays, she plays.
When she rests, she rests. Completely.
My class mates are anxious for savasana because in our busy, busy world, we don’t rest.
We work hard. We play hard.
Then because we got done early, we do more work.
Why do we do that to ourselves?
The wisdom of savasana is rest.
To balance work with rest.
To balance loud with quiet.
To balance movement with stillness.
When the pandemic hit and I couldn’t go to class in person, I found an online teacher. I follow along, hold the poses, count my breathes. Then having done my work, I relax into savasana. For about 30 seconds.
Then I find myself opening my eyes to see if the video ended. Nope. Still savasana.
I try to relax, to still my mind, but the moment of peace is already gone.
There are things to do in the next room. Without the peer pressure of classmates, I am free to jump up and throw myself into the next task. So I do.
That was a mistake and I knew it. I felt cheated but I couldn't articulate why. The wisdom of savasana still eluded me.
I knew I should be more like my dog, that I should follow Sandy down the path of rest.
But my human brain needed information. It needed logic.
I learned about the stress cycle from these twin sisters. Using their combined educations (doctorates) in health and music, they took the knowledge they wished they had before Ameilia’s burnout and wrote about it.
I read more. I found a theory that active yoga followed by savasana teaches your body to release stress. You can read that article here.
Given the myriad tiny stresses we encounter each day, learning to release them is essential. Savasana can help.
Sandy doesn’t need a reason to savasana. She already lives it.
Me? I am still striving.
I set a timer when I go into savasana now, which is weird. But it works. I actually relax, knowing that I won’t over-savasana and miss out on chores. (I am such a work in progress.)
Breaking the stress cycle is my wisdom of savasana.
Copyright © 2020, 2021 Suzanne Grosser