Reverse Savasana (sha-VAHS-ah-nah) is the September Pose of the Month. Sava means Corpse.
This is a perfect pose to incorporate into your routine during this transitional time of year. Summer was a time of trying to cram every possible kind of fun into your day and now it’s back-to-reality, back to work, and back to school. One can hear the collective exhale of all us parents as the kids go back to school. But another kind of busyness is about to take place. At times like this, it might just feel good to lie face down on the ground.
When we are in the midst of big transitions or disturbing times, it can feel like the earth is shifting under our feet. Getting in full contact with the floor feels grounding and restorative. I love how my breath feels moving in and out while in this pose. As I inhale fully with my belly and chest in contact with the floor, my front body is prevented from opening up, so it is my back that rises, creating a subtle stretch to all the muscles along my spine. Each inhale provides an opening — like a soothing massage along my back, and then gravity helps push the air out on each exhale. This exaggerates the deliciousness of each breath, which also calms the mind.
This pose is accessible to all healthy bodies except pregnant women whose bellies are starting to show. If you have had recent injury to your front body, you will want to check with your doctor and use common sense.
- The way to do Reverse Savasana is to simply lie down on your belly on the supportive ground.
- In my favorite variation, no props are involved, and your arms are along the sides of your body with palms facing up. Your head is turned to one side.
- Stay here for ten breaths or more before turning your head to the other side for an equal amount of breaths to release both sides of the neck equally.
Other variations include placing your forehead on the floor and stretching your arms out to the front, or making cactus arms with palms facing down. Another option is to stack your hands one on top of the other with your forehead resting on them.
Some people like to have one or more blankets folded under the belly. If you try this option, make sure that the hips are off the blanket so that you have the sensation that the tip of your tailbone is releasing down toward the floor in a relaxed way.
Since ‘Sava’ is Sanskrit for Corpse and this is Reverse Savasana, we could say that this pose equals Being Alive. So let’s do this as often as possible.
Kristen Addicks has been practicing yoga for 25 years and teaches in Marin at Sukha Yoga, Some Like it Hot Yoga & Boutique, and Rolling Hills Country Club. Kristen believes that being out in nature is also part of the yoga experience. Therefore, she feels fortunate to have been able to call Marin County home for over 20 years. When not in a yoga studio, she can be found hiking or in some nearby body of water. Kristen leads yoga+adventure retreats where she combines yoga with adventurous activities in a beautiful location that includes sun, water, wildlife and culture. www.kristenaddicksyoga.com.