Savasan-ahhhh. The end of yoga class is where everything from the practice integrates into the body. The physical asana practice was designed to quiet the fluctuations of the mind so that when we reach the end of class—where we traditionally take Corpse pose—the mind is quiet and stillness can take over.
For the yoga instructor, this is a sacred time, a time when you hold space for people while they are in a state of deep relaxation. This quiet time holds so much for the yoga practitioner, too, as this is a time to relax, restore, and nourish the spirit. The physiological benefits of Savasana include a decrease in heart rate, increased focus and mental clarity, and reduced anxiety.
Since this is such a critical time in the yoga class, the tone you set as a teacher is important. You can opt for a silent Savasana, but I find the right sounds can enhance the experience. Unless you’re in a silent studio, there are typically noises that can be distracting, and some soft music playing can take students deeper into the relaxation pose.
So what type of music should you play during final relaxation? For a Savasana purist, chanted mantras are an amazing choice. Simple mantras like repeating the sound of om can be incredible for deepening a meditation. The Gayatri mantra is another great choice. I also often choose Savasana songs with crystal bowls or chimes. The natural rhythms connect us to our greater self and can feel like the whole body is vibrating from the inside out. Listening to the sound of crystal bowls can be life-changing!
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Dreams of Mystics by DJ Taz Rashid pairs perfectly with meditations, yin or restorative yoga practices, and Savasana.
If you’re more into mainstream music, choose chill songs with mellow vocals. Songs with lyrics can be distracting when you’re in Savasana, which is the opposite experience that you want to create. You’ll want to make sure the lyrics are appropriate. Some of my favorite artists are Bon Iver and Ray LaMontagne. Ray LaMontagne’s “Be Here Now” is a great choice for Savasana because the message is totally on point.
You can also take an electronic approach, which turns out surprisingly well. I recently taught a DJ yoga class during Miami’s Winter Music Conference, which is a weeklong electronic music event. The DJ was channeling the vibe of the weekend and played an electronic song that people loved—one girl said she felt like she was inside a lava lamp during Savasana (that was a good thing). Trance-y ethereal music can take yogis to another planet. Just make sure you listen to the song all the way through, so that you don’t get any surprise dance beats halfway through the track.
Another favorite is classical music. Flutes and harps can create a beautiful Savasana experience, where people are transported through the music. Listen to the song all the way through and also be cognizant of timing. Most classical pieces are either quite long or very short, so make sure it suits your class. A nice rule of thumb is to give students five minutes in Corpse pose, but if you have more time, use it!
One final word of advice—always add an extra song at the end of your yoga playlist. My playlists almost always have an extra OM track just in case my Savasana song runs out. It’s a great buffer to have!
Here is a playlist of some of my favorite Savasana tracks—a mix of mantra, mainstream, electronic, and classical to zen out in all directions. Hope you enjoy!