Corpse pose or savasana is an essential part of any yoga class. It is a resting yoga pose which is used throughout yoga sessions for relaxation to practitioners. It is also used for practicing the yoga nidra meditation. Although this asana is not what you would think of when you think of yoga, it has numerous spiritual and physical benefits and it is very important to learn how to do it properly.
Corpse pose steps, benefits and precautions
The name savasana is derived from two sanskrit words.
- ‘Sava’ meaning dead body
- ‘Asana’ meaning pose
The name of the pose literally translates to Corpse pose. It helps to calm your body and mind, bringing you to a more receptive state for meditation as well.
How to do Corpse pose?
For me, Savasana is most helpful when it is practiced in a relatively darker and warm space where I feel more calm and relaxed. You can choose the surroundings that work best for you. Here is a step by step guide on how to do the corpse pose or savasana.
Lie down flat on your back and completely open your arms and legs. At the rest position, your arms will be at about 45 degrees from your torso.
Let your body relax completely on the floors. As your body will relax, you will feel it becoming heavier. Close your eyes and start taking deep breaths.
In this position, your complete body will be in contact with the floor and there will be a natural arch in your back that will keep the lower part of your back elevated from the floor.
Ensure that your arms on the sides have the insides exposed. You will have to roll your shoulders for this to happen. The palms of your hands have to face the ceiling and keep your fingers in a comfortable position without stretching them.
Scan each part of your body mentally and slowly try to release tension from each body part including pelvis, hips, thighs, legs, shoulders, arms, chest, abdomen, face, head and neck. As you scan your body, try to consciously relax each part.
As you continue doing this exercise, you will feel that you are going into a deeper and deeper relaxation state. Continue taking deep, slow breaths throughout this step.
You need to avoid all movement once you are sufficiently relaxed.
Try and stay in Savasana for 10-15 minutes. Avoid all distractions during this time. Something that works for me at this stage is to focus on my breathing and to be mindful of the movement of my body along with each breath.
When you want to release from the Corpse pose, you can slowly move to one side of the body and take a few breaths. After that you can rise up slowly from the floor.
Benefits of the corpse pose
- Savasana helps your body to get into a more stress free state. It reduces the heart rate and blood pressure.
- Practicing Savasana at the end of your yoga practice can put you in the right state for meditation. It also provides deep relaxation and increases your overall energy and productivity..
- After an extensive yoga session, corpse pose helps you to end the session with a relaxing pose that rejuvenates the mind, body and spirit.
- It has also been reported to be effective in reducing the anxiety of practitioners and helped a number of people in getting relief from Insomnia.
Precautions and contrinadications
- Women who are in later stages of their pregnancy should not practice Savasana.
- If you have been advised by a doctor/therapist to avoid lying down flat on your back due to a back injury, do not practice this asana.