By Christina | May 3, 2008
That’s an easy one, it does not. Yoga can begin with Savasana, it can occur throughout the practice, it can end there, or it can be the practice completely. Savasana means “corpse pose”. Sounds easy, right? Just lay there and play dead. If yoga was a physical practice devoid of all spirit, then I would agree; just lay there and be still in your body. But that, of course, is not yoga. Yoga is an integration or submersion of all of you – mind, body and soul. It is a stretch class, but it is a stretch class with reason and purpose and focus and life altering experiences and so much more than I can say here, because yoga is different for each person.
In Savasana, one does lay or be still, but this is actually considered one of the hardest asanas or poses because it requires stillness of body AND mind. Have you ever tried to stop thinking at night when your mind is reeling and you cannot sleep because it just won’t stop? Well, that’s the opposite of Savasana. It’s being able to lay there and have no thoughts or realize there is a thought happening but not allow it to disturb anything, just let it float in and out.
You can start your yoga pratice with Savasana, you can do it between poses, or you can wait til the end. In all places it serves a purpose. In the beginning, it serves to settle and calm you, to focus you on the present moment and what is to come. During the practice, it is a reminder to stay present, and afterwards it allows all you have done to sink in.
Do you have to Savasana? Nope. Does it make all the difference in the world? Yup. Your choice, but I wouldn’t miss it for anything!