Why is savasana (corpse pose) the most important yoga pose?
The experts always say it’s the most important yoga pose, just like breakfast is meant to be the most important meal of the day. But why? Whether you’re practicing at home or in a studio, sometimes it’s so tempting to skip it right?! When you’ve managed to find some time to yourself to do a little yoga, it’s easy to think, do I really want to spend 5 to 10 minutes of that just lying there. So here’s exactly why corpse pose is an essential asana in your practice:
Savasana benefits for the body:After the challenge of the physical yoga poses, this final resting position allows the nervous system to balance itself. It’s likely your yoga class or personal practice was designed to stimulate the body, so this is the down-regulator part when the body can rest and repair itself.
Savasana benefits for the mind: The resistance you may be feeling in your mind to lying down and doing absolutely nothing for 10 minutes is exactly the reason why you need to! In our busy and stressful daily lives it can be hard to force ourself to stop and take time out. With practice, this more meditative pose allows the mind chatter to reduce and encourage a state of inner calm.
Why is binding beneficial in yoga?
There’s always one of two in a yoga class that seem to “take the bind option”. Are they just showing off their super stretchy limbs? Well maybe...but “binding”, which involves linking the hands (and sometimes the hand with the wrists), can also offer extra benefits to the body too.
The link that you create constricts the body and requires both strength and flexibility to hold the pose, as well as mental focus. If you’re wanting to go even deeper into an asana, a bind can be a good way to do it. When we take a bind it also subtly alters the alignment of the pose, so you experience it in a different way.
What is Ujjayi breath in yoga?
Ujjayi (ooh-jar-ee) breath is a type of pranayama that sounds a bit like heavy breathing, which is why on your first class you probably wondered who let Darth Vader in. It’s created by a constriction of the throat as air passes through and is often compared to the noise of the ocean (as opposed to the baddy in Star Wars!). There are different schools of thought on the practice. Whilst some think the breath shouldn’t be “forced” in this way, others argue it can help to create focus on the breath during your practice and encourage full deep breathing.
- Improves focus and attention
- Helps mental endurance during challenging physical asanas
- Helps to reduce pain, tension and tightness in the body
Got some questions about yoga that you’ve always wondered? Feel free to ask away in the comments below.