The Countdown to Savasana


There is a period at the end of every yoga class where almost every teacher cues the same series of moves. From Happy Baby (or legs up the wall or navasana or any number of other postures), we are cued to come onto our backs, close our eyes “and let the practice integrate into the body.”

Savasana. Corpse pose.

Most teachers will tell you it is the most important posture in our practice. And they are right. But why does every practice end with a death?

When savasana ends, we wiggle our toes. We come back to Earth, shiny and new. We curl into a fetal position and take our first few breaths in our new normal. Every practice is a rebirth. A chance to start over. Whether the class is at 5 AM or 10 PM, we have a chance to walk our of the space with fresh eyes and a new perspective.

But we don’t have to practice yoga to get that.

I am currently in a bit of a transitional phase myself. I am at that moment when I am still clenching toes and calves and jaw. I am waiting for the teacher to say, “now relax everything down to the mat and just let go.” I can’t let go. Not yet. And as I wait for the next phase to start, I am reminded of everything I would cue my students in class:

Keep the breath even. Steady breath steady mind. If you can confront this on the mat, you can confront it off the mat, too.

I am inspired by my students every day. Their strength, their dedication, their willingness to push outside their comfort zone into the unknown. So I can hold this discomfort a little longer. I can sit with it at the table. Soon enough, I know it will be time for savasana.

And then a rebirth will come.