How to Do Corpse Pose in Yoga (Guide to Savasana)

The corpse pose allows you to rest at the end of your practice and absorb the benefits you have received during the class. When lying on your back, it’s easy to mistake it for merely a short nap designed for recovery. However, it is a powerful asana in itself, and according to many experienced teachers – the toughest one to master.

During Savasana, you’re lying on your back with a goal to completely relax your body and mind. It is a state of surrender and tranquility, which you can use as a meditative practice.

It’s normal for your mind to resist the relaxation, as getting into a meditative state takes some practice. That’s especially true in the modern, fast-paced world. Modern society focuses on speed, productivity, and action – and Savasana allows you to let it all go for a moment. With time, it’ll teach you to be content when you’re passive, to be patient, calm, and gentle towards yourself and others. It may also be a gateway to deeper spiritual experiences.

When I just started doing yoga, I was looking forward to Savasana because I knew it signals that the yoga class is near the end – and I was very exhausted at that point. I wasn’t able to relax though – my mind was racing, and I was waiting for it to be over.”, says Yoga Answered contributor Sara Popovic. “But now, after many years of practice, I’m looking forward to it. I’m able to calm my mind and enter a deep state of relaxation, sometimes simply releasing physical discomfort, and sometimes experiencing profound spiritual sensations.”

Corpse Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Savasana
Pose Type: Restorative Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Beginner pose
Targets: Full Body
Benefits: Savasana may calm high blood pressure, relieve headaches and soften tense and fatigued muscles. It calms the mind and the central nervous system, helping to boost your digestive and immune system and combat stress and anxiety. In a spiritual sense, Savasana promotes greater awareness, cultivates inner stillness, and brings a deep sense of grounding.
Preparatory Poses: All poses you do prior to Corpse pose in your class serve as preparatory poses. If you want to practice only this pose, you can also do that.

How to Do Corpse Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Lie flat on your back and allow your arms and legs to completely relax on the ground. They should be comfortably apart from your body.
  2. Allow your feet to relax and open to the side, and face your palms upward.
  3. Close your eyes and take a couple of deep, conscious breaths.
  4. To help your body fully relax, take your attention to different parts of the body one by one, relaxing each part during an exhalation (you can start with your feet, then your legs, and continue upwards.).
  5. Try to calm your thoughts. Focusing on the breath helps with that.
  6. When you’re ready to come out of the pose, begin by slowly moving your fingers and toes, then move to your right side. Use the support of your arms to sit up in an easy seated pose of your choice.

Beginner’s Tip

The reason why the corpse pose is done at the end of the class is that by the time you’ve done all the poses, your body should be tired enough to be able to relax. Still, if you are not comfortable, you can always use props like blankets and pillows to support your body and feel more comfortable. If you struggle with relaxing your mind, try focusing on the breath, or bring focus to different parts of your body. If you can’t keep your eyes relaxed, cover them with a small towel, pillow, or anything else you have at hand.

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