One of my best savasanas was at my first yoga teacher training in Hawaii. I was lying under the "bubble," which was a temporary dome made of plastic that helped keep us toasty warm as we learned and practiced. After a grueling 5 hours of asana, I lay on my mat and cried. It was spectacular.
Some of you might think, "What? That's nuts." But crying is not uncommon during savasana. It's the perfect pose to release everything and anything you've been holding onto, including any residual emotion you might not even know you had. During our deep rest, we allow bodies to integrate all they have just experienced through the physical practice, but it is also the perfect time to allow our minds to calm. It's in this quiet space, with eyes closed and breath flowing naturally, that any emotion can bubble up.
I've also laughed in savasana. Why? I'm not quite sure. But I remember one person started laughing, and then it was like a domino effect as a great number of us couldn't resist giggling. Some laughed until they cried.
So what does it mean to cry or laugh during savasana? There's no answer to this. In fact, it doesn't have to mean anything. The practice allows us to release toxins in sweat, so why not release them in tears too. Crying (or laughing) can simply be a chance to allow our deep-set emotions to show.
While I taught this morning, I spoke a lot about feeling each pose. Feeling the engagement in the legs, the belly pulling in, the shoulders softening down. I asked my students to consider feeling each pose rather than getting caught up in what they think it's supposed to look like. "Can we stay present and fully aware to how we feel right now?" I queried.
Then, during savasana, one of the sweetest students in the class wept. She tried to stifle her tears as she wiped her eyes. Her emotion was raw. After class, she quickly got up and rolled up her mat. I found her in the studio lobby with sunglasses already on.
"How are you?" I asked.
"There's a lot going on," she answered, a little embarrassed.
I told her that the practice can bring so much up, especially if we allow ourselves the chance to feel. And she replied, "This yoga is my saving grace."
The power in "power yoga" is much more than physical. It speaks to the strength we have within...it's powerful to open our hearts, laugh, cry and truly FEEL something.