Savasana Surrender


One heartwarming moment I get when teaching is the moment when I see students really start to embrace their practice. What I mean by fully embrace is when participants are in the present moment from the first breath all the way to the last breath. Staying in the moment can be elusive to even the most dedicated practitioner of yoga. It is certainly not reserved for those with the best alignment in poses, the biggest breath in a pose, or even for those who can hold an inversion or arm balance.  

What is this moment that brings me such joy as an instructor, you ask? It is the moment when a person can fully surrender into both physical and mental relaxation during Savasana. Super motivated people can achieve good alignment for better postures but struggle to fully relax at the end of practice. I have seen people embrace the present by enjoying every breath of a pose, but lose that presence of mind and body by fidgeting with something or drifting away in their thoughts. Total body and mind relaxation are difficult for people because our minds are always looking for stimulation and we are not used to letting go. In my opinion, this is one of the many answers to the question, why yoga?

Some yoga instructors get offended if someone falls asleep during savasana, not me, I take it as a compliment. I know that the person was so comfortable in mind and body, that they were able to allow their mind to shut off and maybe even drift off to sleep. Is sleeping an ideal way to spend savasana? No, but total relaxation can also be a plus.

I had difficulty achieving Savasana when I started practicing yoga. I couldn’t get comfortable on the floor, I would fidget, my mind would latch onto distracting thoughts, so I never truly let go. After wasted minutes trying to get my body “just right”, the time would end and I left feeling frustrated and unsatisfied. Finally, an instructor said something to me about relaxation that really resonated. She said savasana is “the” one pose that everyone is constantly working to be able to achieve complete stillness of the mind and body. She also went on to talk about how the benefits of the practice would not be able to be fully achieved without fully surrendering to stillness. She challenged me to be as still as possible and identify the distracting thoughts that brought on fidgeting. This challenge eventually guided me to a state of mindfulness where I could manage my bad habits and focus solely on Savasana.

For me physically, it came down to finding accommodations that eliminated discomfort in my back. Mentally, I would acknowledge a thought, take a deep breath, then let it go by focusing on my breath. It took a while, but eventually, I was able to still my body and slow my thoughts enough to finally feel a true sense of refreshment. Now I am hooked and never want Savasana to end.

Challenge yourself to fully surrender in the final pose of Savasana, and discover all of the benefits that come with it. I have discovered that moment and I’d love to see you find that moment too because it brings joy and peace to my heart. Enjoy your journey to finding your moment of surrender. Namaste’