Pose of the Week: Savasana (part i)

Friday, 05 April 2019 14:45

This week’s pose is Savasana. Sava means corpse. Asana means pose or posture. 


I featured this asana in Pose of the Week at the end of last year. I’m revisiting it as it’s important and it’s the end of the term. It’s an opportunity to review and reflect. Many of you have just come to the end of your course. Many who started the Beginner’s course 10 weeks ago are no longer beginners. What have you learnt? Has anything changed for you?


Savasana is an asana that gives the opportunity to reflect and observe for a prolonged duration of time. It gives space; a pause. There is time to absorb what you’ve just learnt and experienced. It may not be a conscious process of absorption, but its placement at the end of the class creates the conditions to allow for an integration.


There can only be an integration or a process of absorption if the conditions are optimal. When we come into Savasana the body becomes still. The body lets go of holding; there is a surrender. The breath becomes quiet. Then the mind becomes quiet. There is a process moving from the outside to the inside. Like peeling away the layers of an onion, as l referred to in the discussion on the Koshas in the blog on Parighasana a couple of weeks ago. 


We see this same idea in the progression of approach in the 8 Limbs of Yoga as described by Patanjali. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are the basis of Iyengar Yoga. There are 196 aphorisms (sutras) on the theory and practice of yoga. The Yoga Sutras where compiled prior to 400CE by Sage Patanjali from the previously oral tradition of yoga.


In the 8 limbs of yoga, we start with theYamas and Niyamas which are the moral and ethical guidelines for living in a society. Then to Asana (the physical postures), Pranayama (breathing exercises), Pratyhara (withdrawing the senses), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (entering into a blissful state of union). Samadhi is difficult to explain. It is beyond explanation. It is an experience. So describing it as ‘entering into a blissful state of union’ sounds strange and difficult to fathom. The mind is chaotic; it is easily distracted by the senses. Our work begins and ends with finding a perspective with a directed clarity.


Celia in Savasana during the Saturday morning Yoga Basics class, offered each Saturday at 8am. 


In Samadhi the mind becomes open, clear and simply transparent. This is the highest state of yoga, finally, if ever, it is reached. It cannot be described in words. Only those who have reached this state can comprehend its nature. There may also be fleeting moments of Samadhi.


BKS Iyengar says in The Tree of Yoga: “The effect of yoga is that you are kindled with the light of knowledge and keep yourself completely pure with an innocent mind, not with an arrogant mind. This is the beauty of the wisdom on yoga..” (p.124)


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See you on the mat :)




Nicole Schroeter

Certified Iyengar Teacher (JI3)


Yoga Path


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