Savasana: 101

Obstacles of the heart.

Ever wonder why teachers tell you to roll to the right after savasana?

Since the heart is located in the left side of your body, when we turn onto the right side, we are giving the heart more space and preventing internal squish. According to some, this body arrangement allows better circulation and lower blood pressure since the heart is working with gravity.

In Yogaland, the left side of the body represents the female body, or moon body. The moon body is calm, level and centered. The right side of the body is the male, or sun, body. The sun body is high energy and heat. Whichever side is on top represents the dominant side. In this theory, keeping the left body higher suggests a better transfer of the soothing effects of savasana.

In my opinion, I don’t think this positioning is an important detail. I don’t believe the minute on your side will make or break the benefits of savasana. I also believe that students know what is the most comfortable for themselves.

Everyone blisses out in a different way. Some people do a complete spread eagle without blankets or props, while others cocoon themselves in support. Some people bring their hands to their heart, while others lift their hands over their heads.

I’ve had some teachers who are bossy leading savasana.

“Put your limbs 60 degrees from the core and your neck at a 30 degree angle.” I’m sorry, I forgot my protractor in my other yoga bag.

“You look like you’re not trying hard enough to relax.”

Or my favorite, the teacher who yanked my blanket from under my head and said, “You can’t do that.” and proceeded to move my head how he saw fit.

As a teacher, I want to let my students relax for a few minutes. Maybe even fall asleep. Maybe her left side is more comforting. Maybe he has an injury on his right. Maybe, the students are synched with their energy–and that energy can direct them to pick their side.

The next time you’re in class, know that rolling to the right, just like everything in the practice, is optional. Yoga is about listening to your body until the very end.

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