Category Archives: wisdom

Savasana — The Most Important Pose in Yoga

Every yoga class ends with Savasana.   That’s when we lay down on the back.  The eyes are closed, arms slightly away from the body, palms up, feet relaxed to the sides, legs hip width apart.  We may use eye pillows to block the light and use of the blanket is recommended for warmth.

savasana1Because our culture greatly honors “doing” while minimally honoring “being,” Savasana may be the most difficult pose.

Stress is now an expected aspect of our life.  The opposite of stress is rest.  Rest is a deliberate attempt to be still and it is as important as walking, sleeping, nutrition and exercise.

When we lie down on the physical level, we experience the least muscular effort.  Contact with the firmness of the ground can be experienced as supportive and nurturing. 

On the mental level we may have thoughts arising and they prevent us from deeply relaxing.  We learn to observe our thoughts, letting them pass, realizing that they are produced by our neurology but they are not our deepest identity.  We are not our thoughts.

In Savasana we may fall asleep, but over time we learn to hover at the state of relaxation. 

That’s where the great benefit of Savasana lays: to deeply relax.

Namaste and OM

Yoga classes traditionally start and end with chanting of the sound OM.

OM is a mantra, or vibration, It is said to be the sound of the universe. What does that mean? 

Somehow the ancient yogis knew what scientists today are telling us—that the entire universe is moving. Nothing is ever solid or still. Everything that exists pulsates, creating a rhythmic vibration that the ancient yogis acknowledged with the sound of Om. We may not always be aware of this sound in our daily lives, but we can hear it in the rustling of the autumn leaves, the waves on the shore, the inside of a seashell.

As we chant OM, it takes us for a ride on this universal movement, through our breath, our awareness, and our physical energy, and we begin to sense a bigger connection that is both uplifting and soothing.

After the sounding of the OM at the end of the yoga class, I will say  “ Namaste”

This is a Sanskrit word which literally translated means “I bow to you.”  It is more commonly translated as “the divine light in me honors the divine light in you “