Corpse Pose - Savasana

Corpse Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska


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’. In Sanskrit ‘Sava’ means ‘corpse’ and ‘asana’ means ‘pose’ thus the name of the pose in English is Corpse Pose.

In Corpse 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 body flexibility.

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!

Benefits and Contraindications


Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression

Reduces headache, fatigue, and insomnia

Relaxes the body

Helps to lower blood pressure


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

Modifications and Props

Here are some ways to modify savasana with props:

  • Use a bolster: Place a bolster (a long, firm cushion) lengthwise on your mat and lie back on it so that it supports your entire spine. This can be especially helpful if you have lower back pain or discomfort. You can also place a rolled-up blanket or towel under your knees for added support.
  • Place a blanket over the eyes: Covering your eyes with a soft blanket or eye pillow can help to further relax the mind and reduce any light sensitivity.
  • Use a sandbag: Placing a sandbag over your belly can provide a grounding and calming sensation.

Useful 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 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I hold Savasana?

Savasana can be held for anywhere from 5-20 minutes, depending on your personal preference and the length of your yoga practice. The goal is to allow your body and mind to fully relax, so listen to your body and stay as long as you need.

Do I need to do Savasana at the end of my yoga practice?

While Savasana is traditionally done at the end of a yoga practice, it is ultimately up to you whether or not you want to include it in your practice. However, it is considered an important part of the practice and can help to reduce stress and anxiety, so it is recommended to give it a try.

What if I fall asleep during Savasana?

It is not uncommon to fall asleep during Savasana as the body and mind are deeply relaxed. If you fall asleep, that is perfectly okay! Just try to bring your awareness back to your breath and your body when you wake up.

Can I use props during Savasana?

Yes! Props such as blankets, bolsters, and blocks can be used to make Savasana more comfortable and accessible for different bodies. Experiment with different props to find what works best for you.

Can I meditate during Savasana?

Yes, Savasana can be a great time to practice meditation. Focus on your breath or repeat a mantra or intention to help calm the mind and deepen your relaxation.

Can i practice Savasana during pregnancy?

Yes, Savasana can be practiced during pregnancy, but it may require some modifications. As your pregnancy progresses, lying flat on your back can cause discomfort or decrease blood flow to the uterus. Here are some modifications to practice Savasana during pregnancy:

  • Use props: Use pillows, bolsters or blankets to elevate your upper body and head. This will create a slight incline, which is more comfortable for most pregnant women.
  • Use the side-lying position: Lie on your left side with a pillow or bolster between your legs and a pillow or blanket to support your head and neck.

  • Use a chair: Sit in a comfortable chair with your feet flat on the ground and your back supported by the chair. Use a pillow or blanket to support your head and neck.

  • Practice guided relaxation: Instead of lying down, you can practice deep relaxation in a seated or reclined position. Listen to a guided relaxation meditation or visualization to help you relax deeply.

hy do i snore in Savasana?

Snoring during Savasana can be caused by a few different factors.

First, Savasana is a deeply relaxing pose, and it’s not uncommon for people to fall asleep or enter a deep state of relaxation. When you are deeply relaxed, the muscles in your throat and airway can become more relaxed as well, which can lead to snoring.

Secondly, snoring can be caused by a blocked or narrow airway, which can be exacerbated by lying on your back. If you are prone to snoring, try elevating your head slightly with a pillow or blanket or trying a different position such as side-lying.

Lastly, snoring can be caused by other factors such as allergies or nasal congestion. If you are experiencing snoring during Savasana or at other times, it may be helpful to talk to your healthcare provider to rule out any underlying medical conditions or to seek treatment for allergies or congestion.

Overall, snoring during Savasana is not uncommon and is usually not a cause for concern. However, if it is interfering with your practice or causing discomfort for others around you, it may be helpful to try different modifications or seek treatment for any underlying causes.


  • Pentacle Pose
  • Reclined Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana) Savasana
  • Legs up the Wall (Viparita Karani) Savasana
  • Side Lying Corpse Pose
  • Dynamic Savasana

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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.