Body Comfort in Yoga Nidra

In Yoga Nidra nap meditation, we’re invited to recline in Savasana whenever possible. 

It’s easy to take Savasana for granted if you’ve been practicing physical yoga for a while. Here are a few primers and adaptations on Savasana, also known as Corpse Pose. Whether you are new to this pose, or a seasoned yogi(ni), it is worthwhile exploring options for optimal comfort. 

1) Comfort, comfort, comfort. This is essential if we want the body to release its tension and rest. (A note on pain and discomfort: If you are experiencing chronic or periodic pain or discomfort, do not let this point discourage you. If anything, let it be an invitation to place extra care in positioning the body to optimize release and freedom.)

2) Spine in a neutral position. When lying down or reclining at an angle, make sure both the front and back body feel comfortable. Anatomical neutral is not straight, but rather beautifully wavy, and should allow you to feel that all 4 sides of your body (back, front and sides) are supported. 

Traditional Yoga Resting pose. No props. 

Traditional Yoga Resting pose. No props. 

3) Props: Use whatever you have on hand. While yoga bolsters and blocks are nice, they are not necessary. As you can see from these pictures, rolled-up blankets, pillows, walls, folded towels are just perfect. 

A bolster or rolled-up blanket under the knees to release the lower back. A folded towel or blanket under the head supports the head and neck nicely in its anatomical curve, i.e. avoid big plushy pillows and ban them from your life entirely if you dare - unless you plan on using them under your knees of course. 

A bolster or rolled-up blanket under the knees to release the lower back. A folded towel or blanket under the head supports the head and neck nicely in its anatomical curve, i.e. avoid big plushy pillows and ban them from your life entirely if you dare - unless you plan on using them under your knees of course. 

4) Where you lie down is up to you. Ideally, find a space where you will not be interrupted. For some of us that might be the laundry room or the bathroom floor (yes, been there). Others might have access to a quiet bedroom or garage (like me in these pictures - welcome to the Yoga Garage!). If you decide to recline on your bed, try setting your head in the opposite direction from which you normally sleep and do not slip under the covers. 

This is my absolute favourite variation: two bolsters or blankets under the legs. It creates supportive release for lower back and legs. 

This is my absolute favourite variation: two bolsters or blankets under the legs. It creates supportive release for lower back and legs. 

A rolled up yoga mat will do. Top it up with a light scarf on the eyes, et voilà!

A rolled up yoga mat will do. Top it up with a light scarf on the eyes, et voilà!

5) Warmth. Use a blanket, wear socks. The body temperature will drop as the body relaxes. 

6) I think that covers it, but I'm sure I'm forgetting something. Do send me your questions and I'll make sure to address them.  

When lying down is uncomfortable, try setting up at an angle. A yoga bolster comes in handy here. You can try with several big towels rolled up or with a very big cushion. 

When lying down is uncomfortable, try setting up at an angle. A yoga bolster comes in handy here. You can try with several big towels rolled up or with a very big cushion. 

If reclining isn't for you, or if the floor seems too far down to come back up, a supportive chair can do wonders! Leaning up against a wall or bed or sofa works too. Make sure your legs and arms are supported (notice I have yoga blocks here) and that your chin is lowered and level. 

If reclining isn't for you, or if the floor seems too far down to come back up, a supportive chair can do wonders! Leaning up against a wall or bed or sofa works too. Make sure your legs and arms are supported (notice I have yoga blocks here) and that your chin is lowered and level. 

Lying down on your side can feel nice too. Try a folded blanket under your side to level the spine, and elevate your head high enough so the shoulder isn't crushed under you (ok, big plushy pillows aren't banned after all). Some padding between the knees will help level the pelvis. 

Lying down on your side can feel nice too. Try a folded blanket under your side to level the spine, and elevate your head high enough so the shoulder isn't crushed under you (ok, big plushy pillows aren't banned after all). Some padding between the knees will help level the pelvis.