When I first started teaching, one of the things I found most inspiring was seeing my students in savasana. It is such a rare and precious things to see a group of people deeply relaxed, especially for someone who came to yoga essentially restless and who inhabits a workplace that is, so to speak, rather caffeinated. For me, the practice of savasana has been transforming. After 10 years of steady practice, my sleep has deepened and become more consistently restful, which has enhanced my ability to come from a yogic place off the mat.
Savasana is in some sense for me always the so-called “pinnacle pose” of practice. The pinnacle pose is not necessarily the most physically challenging pose in terms of combined strength and flexibility, although it is an essential component of the sequencing of any good practice to have the poses gradually open all the parts of the body needed to do the most physically challenging pose.
When thinking about any practice and determining whether a cooling or heating, expanding or inward-going, playful or serious practice would be most appropriate, I ask whether the practice will lead to a place where is will be possible to be completely free and relaxed for 10-15 minutes? Will the practice enable the body feel open and released, strengthened and supported, integrated and aligned, so that lying on a hard floor will seem like being on the finest bedding? Will the focus of the practice help simultaneously free the mind of thought and burden and yet keep it focused and alert so that body and mind can surrender to the full, blissful of conscious being in the moment? Will the practice serve to align the koshas (or sheaths) so that the outer body is soft and relaxed, the energy body full and bright, and the mind and intuitive bodies one with the anandamaya kosha (the bliss body)?
Some teachers have said that savasana is one of the most advanced of yoga poses. I would agree.