Savasana: Starfish or Corpse?

savasana        savasana

I don’t really teach Savasana. At the end of each class I say the same thing:

“Make your way into Savasana. Do anything else you might need to do to be ready for Savasana and when you are, lie flat on your back with the hands fairly close to the hips with the palms turned up and the legs pretty close together and let them relax open.”

After that I usually scan the room to see what is happening with people’s legs. After watching someone in wheel pose I can often guess what their feet and legs might be doing when relaxed.

There is a lot of diagnostic work to be done while people are in Savasana and I tend to take the long road with students who make the mistake taking class with me regularly. I know where they are and where I hope they might end up and I have a lot of different ways to check in on progress—Savasana being one of them.

But this post is as much about taking up space as it is about the correct Savasana. For me, the legs shouldn’t be too far apart simply because I think people do most things with the legs too far apart and keeping the legs fairly close together gives the outer hips a break.

The arms… well I have no comment about the arms.

But back to the snark of the title. The last time I was at a wake or a cemetery I didn’t notice any double wide caskets that allowed for the arms to be spread open. And in a crowded yoga room I want to understand the student who spreads their bodies far wider that the confines of their mat—often into another students space.

The dynamic of a class can be pretty amazing to witness from the front of the yoga room. Watching students reactions to other students is a trip. Some people don’t mind late comers while others seethe. Many students have no problem making room for another mat to squeeze in but others are not so accommodating.

Inadvertent touching as arms go out and up can also illicit interesting reactions and I take them all in with a smile. More power to everyone because if you are paying money you should basically have the experience that you want.

But the starfish thing can drive me a little batty. If the room is empty who cares, but if the room is limited what are you on about?

So what does your Savasana say about you?

Body odor is a topic for another post…

What Exactly Is This Yoga That I Am Teaching?
Sunday Morning Music: Protomartyr