Dear Yoga Teachers: Please Don’t Skip Savasana

Jessie Waite
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Yoga teachers: for your students, for yourself . . . don’t skip Savasana.

For most teachers, this probably doesn’t apply. But there are too many classes where the final Savasana is all but completely forgotten.

Final Savasana (or Corpse Pose) is the period of class (near the end) when students lie on their backs with their eyes closed, and relax in silence. Silence being a big part of it.

There are quite a few classes with varying degrees of this essential element. In some instances, the teacher reserves no more than 30 seconds at the end of class for this pose – almost like an afterthought.

Sometimes, the teacher carves out a good minute for Savasana, but doesn’t stop talking long enough to allow students a moment with our own thoughts. Sometimes, the teacher guides us into Savasana only to end class, say “Namaste,” and leave.
 
 

The Magic of Corpse Pose

Corpse Pose is one of the most critical parts of the yoga practice. It is one of the many things that differentiates yoga from any old exercise class you can take at a health club.

Yoga means union – mind and body. Teachers, please don’t forget about the mind part.

Yoga sometimes becomes more about Sun Salutations, Chaturangas, and arm balances. It becomes less about connecting our mind to our movements, and more about sculpting long, sexy muscles.
 

“Yoga is not a work-out, it’s a work-in.” – Rolf Gates

 
Of course, staying strong and healthy is of utmost importance. But as yoga instructors, we have so much more to offer our students. We have the chance to give them something that almost no other human being can give them during their busy lives: space, peace, and quiet.

The final Savasana is a gift, much more so than well-crafted sequences or concise adjustments. As a teacher, you give your students the space and opportunity to tune into their own mind – to relax and rejuvenate their bodies and their minds after exercise.

So, how to teach Savasana then?
 

 
 

Here Are 4 Tips for How to Teach Savasana Well:

Follow these four tips to teach Corpse Pose with grace and eloquence:
 

1. Leave Time

Leave at least three minutes at the end of class for your students to fully relax in Savasana. This means three full minutes of silence. Three minutes is the bare minimum. If you allow room for five or more minutes, kudos to you!
 

2. Allow for Silence

The impulse to fill every moment of class with verbal instruction, insights, poems, mantras, etc. is understandable. But give your students a little silence. It’s okay if it feels awkward at first. This will pass. Your students have been listening to your instructions keenly, so now give them some time to process.
 

3. Hold Space

Stay with your students during their Corpse Pose. You are their guide. They trust you. Try not to fidget, look at your phone, etc. Wait for them with patience and understanding.
 

 
 

4. Accept

If a student gets up to leave during Savasana, let them. It’s not your place to judge. Just know that it doesn’t mean that what you are doing is wrong.

Still not sure how to teach Savasana properly? Check out: Yoga Teachers: Here’s How to Lead a Badass Savasana (In 6 Steps)
 
 

The Takeaway on How to Teach Savasana With Grace

This is not meant to come off as accusatory. This is meant to give insight into why Corpse Pose is so important to our yoga practice, and to help you make this a priority for your own classes and practices.

During your next yoga class, prioritize Corpse Pose. Give your students the gift of a long, peaceful Savasana.

Still not convinced about the power of Corpse Pose? Here are 10 Lessons You Can Learn From Savasana

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Yoga Teachers: Here’s How to Lead a Badass Savasana (In 6 Steps)
As a yoga teacher, your students need you to share your energy in Savasana more than in any other pose. Here’s how to teach Savasana in 6 simple steps.
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Jessie Waite

Jessie Bell Waite has a degree in Political Science, works in Occupational Health and Safety, and teaches yoga part-time to the members of her small, farming community in Oregon. She likes exploring the relationship between yoga and workplace wellness. She loves green smoothies, long savasanas, her pets and her handsome husband.

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