Corpse Pose

Savasana (The Corpse pose)

Verse 32 of the first chapter of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika states: ‘Lying upon one’s back on the ground at the full length like a corpse is called Savasana. This removes the fatigue caused by the other yoga poses and induces calmness of mind’. ‘Sava’ means a corpse. In this yoga pose, the objective is to imitate a corpse by keeping the body still. By remaining motionless for some time and keeping the mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax. This conscious relaxation invigorates and refreshes both body and mind. This apparently easy posture is one of the most difficult to master, irrespective of the level of yoga practice or the body flexibility.

Corpse Pose is considered a base pose as corpse pose variations can be derived from this pose.Corpse Pose helps boost energy in the body and hence can be included in flow yoga sequences.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Lie on your back with your legs extended out and your arms alongside your body. Ankles are relaxed and the inner arches of the feet are facing up towards the sky. Hands are about 6 inches from your body with the palms facing up.
Step 2
Close the eyes and release any controlled breath your were practicing and just allow the breath to flow naturally.
Step 3
Release all tension in the body and allow it to sink into the earth. You can work your way up from the feet to the crown of the head; mindfully relaxing every muscle, tendon, ligament, organ and cell in your body.
Step 4
See if you can acknowledge the thoughts and sensations that come up without engaging and reacting to them; simply let them float by. Ideally you want to stay here for 10 minutes or more to get the full benefits.
Step 5
If you notice yourself drifting into sleep see if you can stay conscious and aware all the while staying relaxed.
Step 6
To get out of this pose, gently start to bring awareness back to the breath and then the body. Keep the eyes closed. You can wiggle the fingers and toes, circle the wrists and ankles, extend the arms overhead, interlace the finger, flip the palms and stretch out as if you are waking up from a long restful sleep. Roll onto your right side into the fetal position using your right arm as a pillow. Stay here for as long as it feels appropriate. Without being rushed, gently press yourself up into a comfortable seated position. Take a few moments to soak in the peace and sense of calm before getting on with your day!

Pose Detail

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression

Reduces headache, fatigue, and insomnia

Relaxes the body

Helps to lower blood pressure

Contraindications

Back injury or discomfort: Do this pose with your knees bent and your feet on the floor, hip-distance apart; either bind the thighs parallel to each other with a strap (taking care not to position the heels too close to the buttocks) or support the bent knees on a bolster.

Pregnancy: Raise your head and chest on a bolster.

Photo poses in different angles

Tips

Teachers often say that Savasana is the most difficult yoga pose , which is really a way of saying that it’s really hard for some people to do nothing for 10 minutes. If you find it challenging, try scanning your body from toe to head, saying the name of each body part and then releasing it. Your body needs this time to absorb the new information it has received through the physical practice.

Often, the mind wants to stay active even when the body is relaxed. Your mind might have been calm during your pose sequence, but now you need to develop that same calmness when at rest. If your mind won’t stop chattering, try the basic meditation techniques of noticing your thoughts, labeling them as thinking, and then letting them go. Just like other types of yoga, this takes practice. Eventually, you will notice that when your body goes into Savasana, your mind also assumes a relaxed state.

Modifications & Variations
  • Constructive Rest Pose Blanket Head Blocks Bolster Legs
  • Pentacle Pose
  • Constructive Rest Pose Back Bend With Bolster
  • Reclined Pose Knee Elbow To Side
  • Constructive Rest Pose Raised Legs Wheel
  • Corpse Pose (IRT)
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Supine Spinal Twist Pose II
  • Happy Baby Pose
  • Wind Release Pose
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Easy Pose
  • Side Lying Corpse Pose
  • Wind Release Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana has been actively practicing yoga for 5 years. In addition to practice, she studies various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.