Pose of the Month December:
Indulge in deep rest with savasana.
Winter is coming and the year is ending. For me, it is always a time where I look back and contemplate on what has happened, highs and lows, in the past year. Things I’ve learned, people I’ve met, life as it is now, but also wishes and plans for the future.
For this month, I’ve chosen Savasana as pose of the month. Always, at the end of your ‘active’ practice there’s is the final relaxation, savasana also known as corps pose. It only seemed fitting to end the year with savasana as well. Even though it looks easy, it’s one of the hardest ‘poses’. It is all about not doing and ‘just’ being. Being with your breath, bodily sensations and allowing thoughts to come and go. In this version the ‘being’ should be as comfortable as you can get. This allows you to really take time, so your body can let go of everything of the past year that it can let go of. To be present in this moment, allowing the body to wholly rest and restore for the new year to come.
How to practice
There are several options for support in savasana. Please try them all to figure out what your most comfortable and supported savasana is, it’s worth the effort!
You will lie on your back on the mat. A bolster or thick roll of blankets can be placed below the legs, just a bit higher than the knees. You can use a rolled up towel or blanket to support the achilles tendon, to relieve the pressure from the heels that are resting on the floor.
If your upperback is fairly rounded, which makes your head tilt back as you lie on the floor, you can use firm blankets to elevate the floor to a height that allows your neck to be long. The curve of the neck can be supported (careful to not increase the curve) with a small roll.
The most amazing set up to rest the head in, for me, is with a blanket, folded and rolled as shown in the picture. When you’re lying with your head on the folded blanket, figure out whether you prefer a bit of support from the blanket below the shoulders or not. Then fold the top layers of the blanket upwards to gently support the curve the neck. Grab the corners of the blanket that are closest to your shoulders and roll them towards the floor, away from your shoulders, and towards your head, until your head is fully cradled. I also made a video on how to make it that you can find here.
Be comfortable and enjoy!
To finish the pose off, cover yourself with a blanket and use an eyepillow on your eyes if that’s comfortable for you. It’s also nice to place an eyepillow in your hands and/or one on your chest, in line with your breastbone. That little bit of weight can help to create a feeling of grounding and support the body in letting go. The weight in your hand can also be very soothing, as if someone is holding your hand.
Make yourself as comfortable as you can possibly get and stay in the pose for as long as you like, but at least 10 minutes. Allow your body to wholly surrender into the support of the earth and the props. Gently observe the breath and subtle sensations in your body. See if you can be without judgement and stay passive towards what you observe. Use the breath as an anchor, so that when the mind wonders off, you can return the attention towards it.
When the time has come to come out of the pose, very slowly start moving your fingers and your toes, notice how that feels. Then move your arms and legs and have a stretch if you feel the need to. Bend the knees roll to your side. Stay there for several breaths. Slowly push yourself up with support of your hands and sit with your eyes closed for several breaths. Open your eyes and continue with the rest of your day.
If you enjoy these kinds of practices, check out my online self-guided journeys. I’ve recorded The Art of Not-Doing restorative packs for you. With these packs you can chose which 20 min restorative practice you want to practice. It also included separate audios with a different guidance once you’re in the pose, to vary the practice.
You can find them here in the shop.