I am an experimental yogini. Lately, I have been approaching savasana, the pose of deep relaxation that I “do” at the end of my asana practice to see what I can learn from ten or twenty or thirty or sixty minutes reclining in a prone position.
The physical aspects of savasana are quite simple: stretch out on the floor on your back, roll the palms up to face the ceiling, allow the legs to flop away from each other, gently lower the eyelids, part the teeth slightly, cover yourself with a light blanket, place an eye pillow on your eyelids, use a folded blanket beneath your head and neck and a bolster beneath your knees, if you’d like. There are other variations and possible supports that can be used to induce a greater level of comfort, but I’ll cover those in another post.
Here are my journal notes after a savasana “lab:”
10 minutes: a sudden drop into physical relaxation. The body felt as if it were melting into the floor
13 minutes: another drop deeper ~ a deeper release down
17 minutes: Oh, now this drop felt nearly blissful ~ a tumble into bliss ~ so lovely
I was shaken out of it when hearing voices upstairs talking loudly and I picked up the phrase: “She’s really in bad shape.” Felt my mind turn on with adrenaline ~ thought maybe I should get up ~ racing thoughts, but felt my body still relaxed, so decided to drop back down into the deep relaxation, knowing the alarm was set and I could get up in three more minutes. Later note: this was an amazing realization: that I could CHOOSE whether or not to relax deeply!
20 minutes: the alarm rang and because I had already “come back” a good way, I decided to remind myself to come back s-l-o-w-l-y and resist the urge to run upstairs and find out what had happened (what had happened was in fact, a continuing deterioration of an 86 year old relative’s condition, and certainly not an emergency in the immediate sense of the word)
I’d love to hear of your experiences in savasana!