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So much more than laying down.

“Savasana” (shah-VAHS-uh-nuh)!

Whoop Whoop!! Hooray!

Shhhhhhh.... I'm resting in Savasana :)



The world is getting faster, pulling our attention in many directions, which affects our mood, relationships, health and happiness. So what could be more important for ourselves, and our family wellbeing, than learning to slow down, pay attention, and practice relaxation through the deeply kind act of intentional REST in Savasana?


As Judith Hansen Lasater PhD says in her book ‘Restore and Rebalance, Yoga for Deep Relaxation' -

“Restorative Yoga is about opening, not stretching. No matter what condition you are in, it is virtually always possible to find a position of ease that supports you in consciously letting go and resting”.

There are many Restorative Yoga shapes we can explore together, but let's start at the eery beginning with “Savasana” (shah-VAHS-uh-nuh).

Savasana is a central part to yoga practice. Known as 'Relaxation Pose and often taken at the end of a more active class, such as in Vinyassa or Hatha. But why save this little beauty for just a few minutes at the end, when 10 minutes of laying down, any time of day, holds so much support for modern life?

This Sanskrit name comes from the root “Sava” (meaning “corpse”), and then “asana” (meaning “pose”), suggesting this pose prepares us mentally and physically to ‘let go’ of life, when that moment comes. Impermanence of all life is a simple truth, but we don't have to dwell on this as we practice.

Perhaps the most powerful intention is to simply slow down our busy lives, know we are enough just as we are, and rest in the fullness of 'being', Through this deeply kind act we can reduce stress, slow the heart and respiratory rate, create deep relaxation, and increase self awareness and self compassion, and much more (but you will have to try it to discover the magic :)

Why Bother?

This queen of asana can teach us ways to connect with our deeper self, as is the yoga path, from the inside out. As our lives are ever encouraged to get faster, more efficient, more productive, more, more, more..... its so easy to get stuck on this hamster wheel of more. Until we learn the self awareness to sloooooow down.

Not that I want to rush our yoga practice either, but it's also a lot more realistic for most of us to regularly explore 10 minutes in Savasana at home, than a full 60 minutes. Mighty Moments of Rest are infinitely more supportive and sustaining than infrequent longer practices.

Sustainable is one of my intentions for 2023. Both in the practices I share, for my own wellbeing, and for the planet. Little things often is THE way.

What might I experience?

Each time we show up on the mat, our experience is unique. We have never been that version of ourself before, in that moment, so we meet our self as we are and rest with that. Over time you might experience...

  • RELEASE and process physical / emotional / stress tension held in the body by resting in comfort and ease

  • RESTORE energy by inviting the central nervous system into balance

  • REST the doing, learn to spend time with the Self, at ease, while quiet and still

  • COMPASSION is at the heart of practice, learn to be with a little discomfort of experience, without judgment (but also if deep discomfort or pain then slowly come out of the pose)

  • BALANCE the autonomic nervous system. When resting in this warm, safe and quiet place, the nervous system responds. The sympathetic nervous system (known as fight-flight-freeze) that gets so activated through our stimulated, fast paced lives, can begin to loosen its grip. The door can then begin to open to the parasympathetic nervous system state (rest & digest) to wash those waves of calm throughout every part.

How to Savasana.

1. Classically in Savasana (image 1.) you lay down on your back on a yoga mat, with all limbs on the ground, a comfortable space between legs, allowing feet to fall out, palms turned up, a space between arms and body.

2. A supported side laying option might be more comfortable, with a bolster or pillows between knees and all the way to ankles and feet. In pregnancy, after the first Trimester, lay on your left hand side. This can feel very supportive post partum too.



3. A super supportive resting position, especially for those like me who experience an achy or 'pinchy' lower back, or for those who spend a lot of time on their feet day to day (chasing busy toddlers perhaps!), get your legs up with calves supported. This inclined variation below, with cushions under elbows can also feel very supportive for menstruating women and during pregnancy.


Explore...


Practice is all a personal exploration and using props such as blankets, cushions and a yoga bolster (or a homemade version with a rolled pillow and blanket) will ensure your Savasana works to support you.


Settle in and Listen




....With Care

  • If you are pregnant, after your first trimester, take Savasana laying on your left side or on an inclined support along your spine with head higher than heart

  • If you cannot easily get up and down from the floor, try laying on a sofa or bed

  • Laying on your back in an open position might feel anxious to some, especially if carrying un-processed trauma/ PTSD. Go slowly, try laying on your side or front, or keep eyes open and with a soft gaze. Please work one to one with a specialist teacher or therapist to support you if you feel this applies to you.


The trickster thinking mind will say "but I'm to busy to rest!"


I hear you (and me!). But what if BY resting, there was space and clarity to let go of 'busy'


What if by consciously resting more, there was more energy and focus to give to the things / people that matter the most?


What if by resting there was less auto pilot existence, and more intentional living?


What if by resting more, there was more contentment in life from waking up to the present moment?


What if we simply allowed ourselves to slow down....?



I am excited to be sharing three more retreats in 2023, all with a slightly different flavour. From rustic woodland charm and creativity, to North Devon Coast and high end country luxury in leafy Sussex, there's plenty to explore.


Click the link above to discover more or get in touch and let's chat.

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