savasana. you love it or you hate it. (and if you love it, it’s impossible to understand how anyone could possibly hate it.)

ultimately, this posture of complete relaxation is the actually the most challenging pose of all, as the mind is the hardest of all the muscles to control. throughout your entire asana practice you have so many built-in distractions to keep your mind in place: you have balance to contend with, strength, flexibility. you have deep breath and, in some classes, even music.

then comes savasana. and nothing. you’re left completely to your own mental devices. you’re not going to fall out of it, your muscles won’t get exhausted from it, you don’t have to stretch anywhere. and you don’t even have the breath to center you, as the breath is meant to return to a normal, vanilla, walking down the street, minding your own business breath. oh…that’s hard.

turns out your mind doesn’t take well to stillness. you fall asleep, daydream, obsess, solve, stress, think, think, think…anything but be still.

of course, the first step in mental stillness comes from physical stillness. absolute physical stillness. that means you don’t move a finger or a toe, you don’t scratch itches or pick your nose, you don’t adjust your clothes or your hair in any way.

funny that so many people seem to think that if they move their hand really slowly, then all of this idle movement is okay. to that i say this…if you don’t think that hand is important, cut it off, go home and come back tomorrow and let me know how that goes for you.

every single part of our body, every movement is significant. you know that little scratch of your nose that you just brushed off as unimportant? there are people in this world who would consider it the greatest miracle on earth if only they could lift a hand and scratch an itch. temporarily rescinding your connection to the physical world is an act of gratitude for the physical gifts you’ve been given, the knowledge that when you come out of savasana, everything will be good in the world and you can pick your nose again.

next time you’re in savasana, understand that this pose is not a release of all the work that led up to it, but rather the culmination of all the focus, stillness, determination, calmness…all the asana of the practice.

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