Utter relaxation, integrating the breath while quieting the mind, and achieving a total sense of equanimity—these are the ultimate goals of Savasana, or Corpse pose. Putting the body through a flow of poses, both challenging and rewarding, culminates in this balancing pose where you can embrace total surrender.
We have all been there. We subconsciously assess ourselves during our practice and while teaching our classes. We feel constricted in areas where we hold onto our tension. We push our asanas further to gain the benefits of strength and flexibility. We twist, stretch, contort, contract, and upend ourselves. Finally, we get to blissfully relax into the wondrous relaxed state that is Savasana.
After such a rigorous workout, this resting pose should render itself simple and easy to accomplish. However, due to overactive egos, we have a hard time turning off the mind chatter and allowing ourselves to relinquish judgment to our quiet, meditative breath. When teaching Savasana, the addition of certain scents may help here.
Essential oils for Savasana
While we can’t enhance our postures beyond what our muscles allow, we can utilize essential oils to aid in quieting our thoughts. There are a few essential oils that are known to quiet the mind and naturally aid in creating an alpha state simply by inhalation. The top three that would greatly enhance Savasana are the following.
- Patchouli: This essential oil, popular in the 60’s as a love potion, has strong sedative effects and aids in reducing anxiety. Its earthy, musky scent grounds us and helps us to feel comforted within ourselves.
- Chamomile (Roman or German): Chamomile supports both muscular and emotional release of tension. Its lovely scent settles restlessness in the body, allowing muscles to let go of constricting tension for a blissful Savasana.
- Sandalwood: Part of a precious wood, sandalwood oil has been used in temples throughout India because of its aromatic nature. The wood gives off vaporous scents that have an affinity for quieting and easing the mind, allowing calmness and a softening of unnecessary self-talk.
Use oils wisely
As your students lay there in a meditative state at the end of their yoga journey, aromatherapy offers an extra layer of mindfulness. But this tool should be added with caution. A small dab of diluted oil on the bottom of the feet or crown chakra should be adequate, but first check with students to see if they have skin sensitivities or allergies. Avoid overwhelming the senses with too much scent that interferes with settling into Savasana. Diffusing the oils in the room in a diffuser can keep the scent moderate and enjoyable.
With these and other essential oils, encourage a more fulfilling Savasana for yourself and your students.
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