Yoga Journeys – Savasana, Corpse Pose


Savasana is a Sanskrit word, forming a compound of the words shava, which means death, and asana, which means posture. The two words joined together mean corpse pose.

Savasana is a yoga session’s final powerful pose and can be a hard to define experience. Where, exactly, does savasana take us?

Savasana is the end pose of the yoga sequence designed to align the body with both the earth and the cosmos creating balance between the two. This renders us both stable and ethereal as the poses flow into each other, allowing us to enter the greater flow of universal energy.
As we remain bodily rooted to our mats, internally we ride the flow. At the end of a yoga practice as we recline deep in savasana, we are in a meditative state and need only allow the flow to return us.

Imagine the flow as the conduit, as electricity travels the wire to light the lamp, we can travel the flow to both self-realization and the greater consciousness. Here is the Eureka! moment.

Perhaps savasana takes us on Joseph Campbell’s hero’s journey.

First the hero must accept the mission, which the yogi does by simple virtue of stepping onto the mat.

The hero then must embark upon a quest, which the yogi does by setting a specific intention and embarking upon the sequence of poses. Like the yogi, the hero must then enter the flow, encountering extraordinary places and experiences outside of the work-a- day world.

As the hero resolves his quest, the yogi realizes the set intention through the flow, and both hero and yogi must take time to assimilate the knowledge thus gained. The hero may sojourn for a spell in the underworld or through the heavens, and for all practical purposes the hero may appear to be dead in the same way a yogi reclining in savasana appears lifeless.

But both are merely resting, they are assimilating the body of knowledge gained upon the journey and they are preparing to bring the knowledge back to the work-a- day world.

Savasana culminates a journey. Yoga is a Sanskrit word and means to yoke with the divine. When we enter the flow we open the door to that joining and the possibilities are endless.

Savasana returns us from the quest of the flow, allowing us integrate the experience of the journey from the mat and heralding our return to the regular world. This opens the link to greater vision and understanding as it heightens inspiration and facilitates resolution. Anyone can experience the profundity of savasana. We need only look, and, beautifully, once seen, it stays with us.

About Mary Petiet

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