A better understanding of Savasana in the Bikram Series
Savasana in the Bikram Series is a restful and meditative posture used in many different forms of yoga, including the Bikram Hot Yoga Series, which we will be going over in this article. The word Savasana translates from Sanskrit to English as follows: Shava has the meaning of "corpse," and Asana has the definition of "seat" or "posture." Even though Savasana looks like you are just laying on your back, it is so much more and is considered a posture in the Bikram Series.
Your first Savasana comes after you have finished the Toe Stand and you finished the Standing Series. When you do the floor series poses, you do a Savasana between each posture and one last long Savasana when you are done the series. Savasana allows you to receive all the Bikram Hot Yoga Series benefits, so we need to ensure we are doing it correctly. This is not just lying on your back, so let's describe the proper form you need to use to get all of its benefits
When you are done with the Toe Stand, your instructor will tell you to honor yourself in the front mirror, lay on your back, and go to Savasana. It is a common joke in yoga circles that this is everyone's favorite pose because, by appearance, it seems as if you are just laying on your back, but there is a form to this pose. The first thing you do is lay on your back with your feet facing the back wall.
When you lay on your back, your chin is slightly tucked with the heels touching and the feet flop open. Your palms remain open and facing towards the ceiling. Your eyes remain open with your gaze fixated on the ceiling. You can also fix your eye gaze on the wall in front of you if you can. From your neck down to your heels, the back of your body should be flat on the floor.
The first Savasana you take is at the end of the standing series and is a transition from the standing series to the floor series and gives you a break in the middle of class to help you recharge your battery. You are receiving all the benefits of the standing series here by having all that freshly oxygenated blood flow through your entire body and healing your body from the inside. You should remain perfectly still for a couple of minutes till your instructor tells you to go into the wind-removing pose.
Savasana during floor series and after class
When you start the floor series, you take a Savasana after each posture you take as you begin to slow things down a bit. These Savasanas only last for a few moments but help you recover quicker and help you along in the floor series. When you do Savasana in the spine strengthening portion of the floor series, you do the Savasana differently. Between each posture in the spine strengthening series, you lay on your toes touching and heels flopping open away from the toes. Your palms face the ceiling, and your head will, after the first pose in a set, turn to the right and turn out to the left after the second pose. The Savasana of laying on your stomach is for just the spine strengthening portion of the floor series, and then once you are done, the Savasana reverts back to laying on your back.
You should remain in Savasana for a couple of minutes at the end of class to receive the full benefits of the pose. The posture sounds easy enough but sit perfectly still and ignore outside distractions after a Bikram class in a heated room. You will understand how some people really struggle with Savasana. You need to fix your eye gaze on one spot, be aware of your breath, and stay perfectly still. Do not scratch, do not fidget or wipe the sweat off; just stay still.
This is the mental and emotional part of yoga that beginners do not understand nearly enough. It is like any other posture in that the more you do it, the better you will get at it. You will notice yourself start relaxing in the pose and staying in it longer the more you do it and obtain all of its meditative qualities. You will see yourself more peaceful and calm outside of the Hot Room as well.
Savasana is a restful and meditative pose in the Bikram Hot Yoga Series with physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Even though it looks like you are just lying on your back, in reality, it can be pretty emotional and challenging to just sit perfectly still without any movement. In Savasana, you receive all of the benefits of your yoga practice, so you should have the time to sit still in the pose to receive all of its healing properties. Like any pose, the more you do it, the better you will get at it. I hope this post will help you understand Savasana, especially in the Bikram Series. Namaste.
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