The physical aspect behind the word savasana is simple. Just lay there. Don't move. Don't wipe the sweat dripping down from your face. Don't grab another sip of water. Don't fix your high-waisted leggings. Don't adjust your sports bra. Don't fidget. Don't clench your teeth. Don't think about what you need to do when you get home, or how crowded the yoga studio area is going to be as you're trying to grab your belongings and leave. Just lay there. In silence and in stillness.
...but the concept of savasana is actually more difficult than it seems. While you lay there, you want to completely relax your mind and body so much so that ultimately you're able to enter a meditative state.
In Bikram yoga, savasana happens at the very end of a grueling and rigorous 90min hot HOT workout. The teacher turns off the lights and instructs you to close your eyes... to relax your toes, your feet, your knees, your belly... all the way up to... your face, your jaw, your tongue, your eyebrows...
The teacher says "namaste" and the class responds with "namaste" -which is then your cue that class is officially over.
Here's where it gets difficult! The minute the teacher leaves, mostly everyone jumps up and is ready to run out of there. But what you should do is continue to lay there in stillness for a few extra minutes, listening to what your body needs rather than what your mind is telling you -- "LET'S GO!"
It took me over 10 years of practicing Bikram to actively practice and truly learn that the longer you lay there in savasana, the more benefits you will actually receive. How?
You've just put your body through SO much work these past 90mins, increasing your heart rate and sweating like crazy trying to hold yourself in all different kinds of poses. When you hold these specific poses in Bikram, you're essentially cutting off circulation in that part of the body. So when you lay down in stillness immediately after, all of the fresh blood and oxygen rushes fiercely and directly to that exact part of the body where you just cut off circulation. Thereby strengthening and healing those areas at a much faster rate.
Have you ever had acupuncture done before? Same concept. Needles are poked and surround specific areas so that the body immediately puts more attention on that specific area being poked. The body recognizes that there are foreign objects (the needles) in the body and puts all the focus on healing that area right away.
So the next time you savasana, whether after a Bikram class or any other type of workout, give yourself extra time to just lay there and meditate. Count to 120 slowly and let your mind drift away..