“Ain’t nobody got time for that,” a friend expressed to me, referring to how long her yoga teacher had her lay in savasana at the end of their session.
“But you’re missing the point!” I replied, eager to shift her perspective on why savasana—also known as corpse pose—is actually the single most important pose we must always make time for.
Quietly, I gathered my thoughts and brewed up the perfect way to explain the importance of this pose in a way that was easy to understand, while still making an impact.
I looked back at her and asked, “Have you ever spent your precious time and energy on making yourself a meal, adding in just the right amount of spices and maybe some citrus and a sprinkle of salt…and then didn’t sit down to taste it? That’s what skipping savasana is. It’s not taking the time to taste what you’ve made.”
Because how would we ever know how something tastes if we don’t take the time to eat it? And how would we ever know how yoga has made an impact in our lives if we don’t take the time to feel it?
Savasana is about integration. And just like most things in life, if we don’t take the time to process the lessons we’ve learned along the way, how will we ever integrate them into our daily lives?
And if we do have the time to do eight sun salutations, a couple of backbends, and a headstand, then we definitely have the time to lay flat on our backs in complete surrender. But, I get it. Surrendering is hard. Stillness can be frightening. Because it’s in the stillness that we receive the most clarity; it’s in the stillness that we often begin to hear the messages we’re constantly running away from.
And I get why so many of us believe we don’t have the time to “do nothing” because we have places to go and people to see and chores to do and food to cook and kids to take care of and all the things! But, if we have time to do, then we also have time to be; it just depends on what we choose to prioritize.
And in a society where we often prioritize productivity, let’s change the idea of what productivity looks like—because doing nothing is productive. Allowing our bodies to rest and recover is productive. Taking the time to feel is productive.
And savasana is the best practice of lying comfortably in the discomfort of stillness. It’s the time for us to lie back and feel into the newfound openness we’ve created in our bodies. It’s the time to let that openness sink in and expose the bits of ourselves we weren’t willing to see before (because we were too busy doing all the things). And it’s the time to practice how to slow down and learn to become patient with our sweet selves.
Rumi said it best:
“The world exists as you perceive it. It is not what you see, but how you see it. It is not what you hear, but how you hear it. It is not what you feel, but how you feel it.”
In yoga, we are given the opportunity to see ourselves, hear ourselves, and feel ourselves. But without savasana, the opportunity is lost.