Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Corpse Pose (Savasana) via flckr
Pronunciation: shah-VAH-sah-nah
Pose Type: Reclining

Usually Corpse Pose is the concluding posture of an asana or pranayama practice. Savasana is the last pose because it gently resets the body and relaxes it after the work of the yoga practice. The pose can be performed with the legs long along the floor away from the body, or with knees bent, thighs inward and a strap around the feet to maintain the inward rotation of the legs.

Savasana is a way of releasing the brain from responsibility and thinking mind. The body needs time after the practice to receive the information it got through the yoga practice. Although this pose is a resting pose, it is not a sleeping pose. The yogi should stay present and aware during the final relaxation while allowing the body to open to the messages it has received. The breath may become short and soft.

Pose Sequence

This is the ending pose of a yoga practice. It’s important in this pose to ensure that the body is in a neutral position, so you may use blankets or folded towels wherever there is pressure or the need for support. Typically, under the knees and neck and sometimes under the lower back.

  1. Starting from a lying position, face up on your mat, arrange the supports you need to get your body into a neutral state.
  2. Slowly raise one leg, extend it and then allow it to lower gently to the floor. This ensures that the legs are long.
  3. Relax the legs completely, allowing the feet to fall outward away from the center of the body.
  4. Relax the groin and pelvic area and soften the lower back into the mat or a support.
  5. Reach the arms toward the sky and extend them, then allow them to gently lower to the floor as well. Turn the palms face up in an open and receiving position.
  6. Make sure the shoulder blades are resting evenly on the floor and spread the collarbones.
  7. Soften the tongue, the face and nose, and the ears to give a full release to the face.

Stay in this pose for 5 minutes for every 30 minutes of your yoga practice. To exit out of the pose, deepen the breath and roll gently over onto one side. Take a few long deep breaths and use the hands to push the torso up, dragging the head after.

Benefits of Corpse Pose

The benefits of this pose include:

  • Calms the brain and relieves mild depression
  • Relaxes the body fully
  • Reduces headaches, fatigue, and aids insomnia
  • Helps reduce high blood pressure

Savasana concludes both your asana and pranayama practices and is a way of ‘sealing’ the benefits of the practice into the body.

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By Virginia O'Connor

Co-founder of and writer/content manager.