Six tips for a superior at-home savasana
A good savasana leaves you feeling physically lighter and mentally revitalised. You might see the world a little more clearly. Feel greater appreciation for the little things, like a well-brewed cup of tea. Have more confidence tackling the day’s to-do list with new-found focus and determination. Or, you might feel a tangible release of the day’s tensions as you sink into pre-bedtime meditation. Here five Sweaty Betty Ambassadors share their own tips to help you enjoy the benefits of an at-home savasana, whether you’re a newly inspired mat maven or regular yogi…
1. App-reciate the moment
Need a little help getting in the zone? There’s an app to help with that. Fulham Ambassador Jo Arthur recommends Insight Timer, which allows you to set a fixed time for meditation (ranging from 2-20 minutes) and gently rings to let you know when the time is up. Or, if you prefer a relaxing soundtrack or guided meditation cues, Bloomingdale's NYC Ambassador Yanti Amos loves the Calm app.
2. Yin first, Yang later
When you have a little more time to spare, Jo encourages you to explore an even deeper meditation with 20 minutes of yin yoga before settling into stillness. This will release any areas of tension in your body so you can enter a meditative state feeling completely open and relaxed. Set the scene with Jo’s guided yin yoga video.
3. Prop yourself up
Props can make all the difference between a half-hearted savasana and sumptuous state of zen. Battersea Ambassador Charlie Morgan creates a ‘meditation nest’ using Nag Champa incense sticks and a blanket. “When your body is covered, your parasympathetic nervous system is instantly calmed – helping you relax deeper and deeper,” says Charlie. Leeds Ambassador Angela Sykes further recommends rolling a blanket beneath your neck if you have a curve in your lower back, alleviating any discomfort from lying flat so your mind remains present in the moment.
4. Start with a clean slate
If you’re meditating at the end of the day, Yanti suggests showering before your savasana. “The water helps to wash away any frustrations you’re still feeling from the day,” says Yanti. “It also makes you more committed to your meditation, so there’s no need to get up again and prepare for bed if your savasana happens to turn into a deep sleep.”
5. Breathe deep
Although savasana is all about letting your breathe and your body do what it wants, it can help to start your practice with measured inhales and exhales. This gives you time to inhale positive energy and exhale negative energy, before letting your mind become still and your breath rise and fall naturally. “Try long inhales for 3 counts and exhales for 3 counts – start with 3 rounds,” says Yanti. “Gradually build up to 4 rounds of 4-count inhales and 4-count exhales.”
6. Set realistic expectations
“It isn’t realistic to expect beta brain activity to subside if you’re worried about cycling across town to your Director’s meeting, making something to eat, getting the washing in and all the thousands of other variables vying for your attention,” says Edinburgh Ambassador Karen Breneman. To get the balance right, Karen suggests dedicating different days of practice to different benefits. “If you have a two-second savasana on Tuesday because Tuesday is the day for bossing your backbends, you can rush off to work knowing that Thursday will be the day for taking 15 minutes of bliss.” An amazing savasana once a week trumps an average savasana every day of the week!