During home practice, whether I’m practicing alone or with friends, it never fails that something happens during Savasana. The phone rings. My husband decides to make lunch in the kitchen above us, clunking around and possibly singing to the dog. The dog comes downstairs and licks my face. The doorbell rings.
This must be a lesson in going with the flow and laughing about it.
Sometimes in Savasana (corpse), my little monkey brain takes over and starts thinking about what to have for lunch, or which day we should give the dog his heartworm pill, or whether we are out of milk, or any number of other bits of brain flotsam.
Sometimes I fall asleep, much as I’d prefer not to. I certainly hope I don’t snore when I do this in class. In one class a few years ago one student always always always fell asleep and snored loudly. I tried hard to avoid being next to him when it came time for Savasana. It seemed rude to move away. The snoring was horribly distracting. My old teacher Margaret used to say, when things were loud out in the alley, “Just pretend you’re in India.” Apparently if you go do yoga at the Iyengar Center in Pune you hear all sorts of street noise, honking, yelling, people selling things, etc. Snoring? I don’t know.
Sometimes I don’t think about anything except my breath, and that’s good.
One day last week I thought about my breath, and how my breath is the same as everybody’s breath. We’re all breathing one breath. The parallel is the ocean. We have names for different oceans, but it’s all one ocean. Whoosh.
It wasn’t much out of the ordinary. As usual, I was sleepy and didn’t have much time. I did seated forward bends, downward facing dogs, dolphin poses, and whatever you call Chaturanga on your forearms. A couple of Parsvottanasanas (what is the English for that? Standing forward bends?), Jathara Parivrtanasana (reclining twist), Viparita Karani (legs up the wall), and a very good Savasana.
I read a great comment about Savasana recently, and it’s bugging me that I can’t remember where. It might have been in Yoga Anatomy, by Leslie Kaminoff, or in this month’s Yoga Journal, but I can’t find it. I’m going to keep hunting. The gist of it was that in Savasana we focus on breathing and relaxation. Otherwise it’s just a nap.
Sometimes I call these hobbyhorse poses. They’re the ones that are most beneficial for me to do every day. That doesn’t mean I do them every day. Everyone’s bread and butter poses are different, although some remain the same.
Supta Padangusthasana (reclining big toe pose), for hips, hamstrings, and adductors
Parighasana (gate latch pose), for adductors and intercostals
Paripurna Navasana and Ardha Navasana (full and half boat pose), for abs
Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (leg lift), for abs
Upavista Konasana (seated wide angle pose), for everything
Viparita Karani (legs up the wall) for asthma, digestion, restoration, and more
Plenty of others
Tadasana (mountain pose)
Adho Mukha Svanasana (downward facing dog)
Savasana (corpse pose). I’m so well-trained by my teachers that I never skip this. Amazing!
If I have any readers out there, I’d like to know what yours are.