Maximum Exertion, Maximum Relaxation

I love savasna.  Who doesn’t?  That wonderful reward at the end of standing series, between postures on the floor and at the end of class.  The time when the health benefits are being absorbed by the body.  In final savasna, I can sometimes feel the blood surging through my veins, cleaning out scar tissue and toxins, and spreading oxygen throughout my body.  It is an exhilarating feeling.

But Bikram yoga is all about balance.  You have to give maximum exertion to get that feeling of maximum relaxation.  I find this particularly true in the back strengthening series on the floor.  While the postures are short in duration, the effort required is great.  Backbend after backbend against gravity.  My heart is always pounding and my breath comes heavy, but once the posture is over, I settle into the maximum relaxation portion of the program.  And it feels good.  My breath and heart rate return to normal as I prepare for the next pose.  I use the phrase maximum exertion, maximum relaxation almost as a mantra to keep me going during the postures, and to help me enjoy the relaxation of the savasna.

I once had a teacher that in final savasna, encouraged us to relax our bodies so much that we could feel the floor supporting our body, rather than our body holding itself in place on the mat.  If I really focus on it, I can do it and it is a great feeling of freedom.  Almost meditative.  If I have the time at the end of class for a more leisurely savasna, I always try to relax to the point where I can feel the floor supporting me.  Almost like a well-earned hug at the end of class.

Fellow yogis, do you love savasna?

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