The Three Stages of Savasana
Savasana is a pose that requires practice, time, and repetition to feel its deeper effects. It is also a pose in which a lot happens. Use the resources below to explore how to practise savasana and the three stages of this fascinating and mysterious pose. I recommend at least twenty minutes to be able to attempt working through all three stages.
What is Savasana? Read here
Before coming into savasana, make sure you have done a practice that satisfies your personal need or want to move and prepares the body to lie down. I have included a few links to gentle practices below, but you may enjoy a more vigorous and demanding pace if physicality helps you relax and ground.
Relaxation (Stage One)
How to practise savasana (stage one):
- As you lie down, prop your joints and place the body into mild flexion. This means chin will be a tiny bit in, knees will be a little bit bent, wrists are lifted so shoulders can soften, etc.
- Scan the sensations of your body informally or formally by noticing each individual bone, joint, feature, and region.
- Practice a slow and relaxing breath. For example, 1:2 Breath (double length of exhale to inhale) works quite well.
How to prop savasana:
Surrender (Stage Two)
After you are relaxed, much of your time in savasana will be spent in practising surrender. We surrender what happened during the practice and whatever is preventing us from experiencing the present moment. Of course, there is some emotional and physical pain we can not surrender. In that case, we learn to befriend it.
How to practise savasana (stage two):
- Give yourself permission for rest, release, and surrender
- When you exhale, silently repeat a personal mantra. This best consists of a single word and can be anything!
- Notice internal and external agitations without judgment as they arise. Let go of what you can let go of and befriend the rest.
- Repeatedly return to breath and mantra as much as you need to aid the process of surrender.
- Little by little, let go of the above techniques until you have fully surrendered. This will take time!
Groundlessness (Stage Three)
This final stage is hard to explain as it is entirely non-verbal and non-cognitive. You are sleeping yet fully awake. The outlines of the body seem to drift away. It is, as best as we can understand, being present in the awareness of pure consciousness. In a 20-minute savasana, you would be quite lucky to have five minutes of this. More likely, as a beginner, you may have only occasional glimpses of this feeling.
How to practise savasana (stage three):
- Time and patience