Sukasana or Savasana?
Sukasana or Savasana? Which do we do at the end of our practice? The last pose of most any yoga class is savasana, known as corpse pose, in which we lie flat on our back, legs spread wide, palms up and consciously relax.
But what about in Ashtanga Yoga? These two poses are used indistinctly to describe the final pose. So, which is the correct?
The two highest authorities of Ashtanga Yoga, past and present, have written books about the practice and this is what they have to say:
Sri K. Pattabhi Jois says in Yoga Mala, “Finally, jump through the arms, lie down, and rest for five minutes. This concludes the practice.”
In Sri R. Sharath Jois book Astanga Yoga Anusthana, it reads “Many mistakenly call this Savasana, but this is incorrect. No asana is being done here. One is only resting from the asana practice.”
So neither refers to the last pose as Savasana or Sukasana. Both terms are incorrect. We are only resting from our asana practice.
Sukasana, suka meaning happy, comfortable,or easy, is known as the Easy Pose. It is an easy seated crossed legged position, known in other styles of yoga.
Savasana is a pose found in the Advanced Series C and D of Ashtanga Yoga. In this pose, the body is totally stiffened so it could be picked up without sagging. This is a meditation on our death -- the corpse after rigor mortis has set in.
I recall my week in Miami with Sharath, at the end of practice he only said “take rest,” and we would all lie down and he would allow us to rest for about two minutes. In my personal practice, I sometimes take a ten minute rest, trying to keep my attention on my breath and my mind still.
So remember after practice, just take rest!
Lots of love,