Why do yoga teachers always say “roll to the right” when coming out of Savasana?

A student posed this question to me after class this past Tuesday.  I chose during that class to leave the decision up to the student to “roll to their favorite side” of the mat after savasana.  My first response was “well, it creates organization in the room when everyone rolls to the same side”.  Though I recall being told by a prior teacher of mine years back that rolling to the right side of the mat allows the heart to remain open (i.e. less pressure is put on the heart) as you come out of savasana and move forward into your life. 

In search of a more philosophical answer, I turned to my trusty friend Google.  Here’s what I found at http://www.yogaeverywhere.com/ask_the_yogi/asktheyogi.html

1. Rolling to the right side of the body is rolling away from the heart (less pressure and weight on the rested and open heart).

2. Pausing on the right side allows the students natural blood pressure to reach it’s potential homeostasis.

3. Resting on the right side allows the energy to be redirected in the present moment as needed and circulated appropriately.


Ahhhhh, so I did remember something about the heart 🙂  I should mention that the day my student asked this question I simply said  “roll to your favorite side”.  I tend to do this in some of my classes depending on the size and energy of the group.  Doesn’t the body need to be balanced out?  If you always “roll to the right” there is never balance. 


My online search didn’t address balance.  Since I’m not completely satisfied with the top 5 results my friend Google produced, stay tuned…

7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by barbara on April 19, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Turning to the right side is also symbolic for facing East.


  2. Posted by elisa on June 11, 2009 at 6:01 am

    my yoga teacher says roll to right unless you have low blood pressure, So I guess that is some relation to the heart and bood pressure


  3. Posted by Cheryl on September 25, 2010 at 9:46 am

    I teach my students both that the heart remains open, but also that the right side of the body is the healing side, something I was taught years ago, that staying on the right side after a vigrous practice brings a balance to all the systems of the body. It has a cooling effect. Where as in a Yin practice, we roll to the left, to increase energy after a deeply restorative class.


  4. I’ve actually heard that moving to the right is in the same direction as digestion…..


  5. Posted by Stephen on June 8, 2011 at 9:10 am

    When you role onto the right side you avoid putting pressure onto the heart and therefore allow the body and B.P to gradually come back to a state of neutral (homeostasis) after relaxation/savasana.

    The liver sits on the top right quadrant of the abdomen and as you role over to the right the blood from the gut is encouraged towards the liver via the porta hepatis (the vein carrying nutrient rich blood to be assimilated by the liver).

    Plus, by rolling over to the right side the left side is free, ie. the left nostril stimulating the ida nadi or chandra (lunar) nadi which has been referred to as Yin chi. By opening the left nostril it is believed that the right hemisphere of the brain is stimulated (such is the first breath in Nadi Sodhana Pranayama), which is responsible for creativity and spatial awareness.


  6. I always wondered about the balance thing too!


  7. Oh so that was the reason I’m always told to roll over to my right! I feel very uncomfortable when my movements are not bilateral; I could be quite obsessive when it comes to this. I simply hate lying on one of my sides, or resting my head on just one elbow.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: