The September Pose of the Month is my all-time favorite restorative pose — Reverse Savasana (sha-VAHS-ah-nah) or Prone Savasana. Sava = Corpse.
I chose this pose because during this transitional time of year I switch out of the high gear of trying to cram every possible kind of fun into my summer and move to a more slowed down, back-to-reality pace. It’s slightly sad, but I also hear the collective exhale of all of us parents as the kids go back to school. I also chose this pose as it represents how I often feel when I turn on the news. Sometimes, I just want to lie face down on the ground!
When we are in the midst of big transitions or disturbing times, it can feel like the earth is shifting under our feet. Getting in full contact with the floor feels grounding and restorative. I love how my breath feels moving in and out while in this pose. As I inhale fully with my belly and chest in contact with the floor, my front body is prevented from opening up, so it is my back that rises, creating a subtle stretch to all the muscles along my spine. Each inhale provides an opening — like a soothing massage along my back, and then gravity helps push the air out on each exhale. This exaggerates the deliciousness of each breath, which also calms my mind.
This pose is accessible to all healthy bodies except pregnant women whose bellies are starting to show. If you have had recent injury to your front body, you will want to check with your doctor and use common sense.
The way to do Reverse Savasana is to simply lie down on your belly on the supportive ground. In my favorite variation, no props are involved, and your arms are along the sides of your body with palms facing up. Your head is turned to one side, and you stay here for 5 breaths or more before turning your head to the other side for an equal amount of breaths.
Other variations include placing your forehead on the floor and stretching your arms out to the front, or making cactus arms with palms facing down. Another option is to stack your hands one on top of the other with your forehead resting on them.
Some people like to have one or more blankets folded under the belly. If you try this option, make sure that the hips are off the blanket so that you have the sensation that your tailbone is pointing down toward the floor in a relaxed way.
Enjoy reverse savanna as often as needed.