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Why Savasana (Corpse Pose) is the Most Difficult Yoga Pose

On the surface Savasana seems like the easiest moment of a Hot Yoga practice. But what seems like a break has also been called the most difficult of the asanas. Many yoga students who can happily push and balance their way through the rest of class struggle with lying still on the floor. Much like sleep, the pose sets up the conditions that allow you to relax. But the art of relaxation is harder than it looks.

Savasana, literally, means “Corpse Pose” – broken down into “asana” (posture) and “sava” (corpse). And that’s the point. Not only is a corpse’s physical body perfectly still; its mind is still, too. Not awake and thinking about the previous postures or the upcoming one or the list of things to do after class. Just completely still. But, as is true with all kinds of meditation, it’s almost impossible to not think. This is why for most people, Savasana is the most challenging pose mentally and physically.

When you first start practicing Savasana, it can be a struggle to relax. You may lie there feeling tense with your eyes darting all over the ceiling. You may fidget often, scratching your head, moving around your arms and feet or wiping sweat off your face. Here the challenge is to turn off active thinking and simply observe these sensations without letting yourself get caught up. The essence of Savasana is to relax with attention and intention – to remain conscious and alert while still being at ease. Remaining aware while relaxing can help you begin to notice and release tensions in your body and mind.

The Benefits of Savasana

Savasana is a practice of gradually relaxing body and mind. When you do this practice as a habit, it conditions the body to release stress, improving your sense of well-being.

· Promote deep and quality sleep

· Calms central nervous system

· Improves digestive and immune systems

· Reduces headache, fatigue and stress

· Helps lower blood pressure

· Promotes awareness of mind and body

Over a lifetime, the physical and mental benefits of Savasana are profound. But Savasana is also a sacred time for some practitioners — a time when you are able to let go of emotions that have been trapped in your body or feel connected to something larger. The Hot Yoga practice at Hot Yoga Chelsea in the Flatiron District is a classic sequence of Bikram-inspired poses designed to stretch and strengthen the entire body. Between many of the poses and in the grand finale, you’ll have your chance to experience the profound, Savasana.