Corpse Pose

Common Title Corpse Pose
English Title Corpse Pose
Sanskrit Title Savasana
All Titles Corpse Pose, Savasana,
Pose Level Beginner
Pose Position Supine
Pose Type Restorative,
Sanskrit Pronunciation Play Audio
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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.

Chakras

Corpse Pose helps open, activate, and balance the following chakra(s):
  • Crown Chakra (Sahasrara Chakra)
  • Heart Chakra (Anahata Chakra)

Anatomy

Corpse Pose benefits the following muscles and hence can be included in yoga sequences with the corresponding muscle(s) focus:
  • Lower Back

Corpse Pose yoga sequences

Corpse Pose is commonly found in the following types of yoga sequences:
  • Ashtanga Primary Series Sequence
  • Gentle yoga sequences
  • Kids yoga sequences
  • Restorative yoga sequences
  • Yoga sequences for teenagers
  • Yin yoga sequences
  • Yoga sequences for relieving lower back pain

How to do Corpse Pose

The below cues and yoga sequences added by yoga teachers show multiple ways to do Corpse Pose depending on the focus of your yoga sequence and the ability of your students.

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  1. Making the mind busy. Followed by singing bowl
  2. Imagine yourself floating easily and securely on the raft. Gentle floating without any care or worry
  3. Make yourself very comfortable on your mat. You might like a block or a folded blanket under your head.

    Begin to bring your attention to your body, lying on the mat. Feel the weight of your body. Feel the ground supporting you. Allow yourself to melt downward.

    I would like you to imagine a s...
  4. Let's start on our backs
    Begin to find your breath
  5. Lie comfortably on your back.
    Close your eyes.
    Bring your legs wide, and allow your feet to flop open.
    Bring your arms by your sides and away from your body.
    Turn your palms toward the sky.
    Tuck your shoulder blades slightly underneath you.
    Tuck your chin very slightly into your chest.
    Make a...
  6. POSTURA DESCANSO/OBSERVACION.
    INDICACIONES:
    ESTIRA Y REPOSA TODO TU CUERPO
    GIRA TUS PALMAS BOCA ARRIBA
    ABRE LIGERMANETE PIERNAS Y BRAZOS


    TEN CONCIENCIA DE TU/S:
    -HOMBROS
    -COSTILLAS
    -PECHO
    -BOCA DEL ESTOMAGO
    -MANDIBULA

    RESULTAD...
  7. POSTURA DESCANSO/OBSERVACION.
    INDICACIONES:
    ESTIRA Y REPOSA TODO TU CUERPO
    GIRA TUS PALMAS BOCA ARRIBA
    ABRE LIGERMANETE PIERNAS Y BRAZOS


    TEN CONCIENCIA DE TU/S:
    -HOMBROS
    -NUCA
    -PECHO
    -BOCA DEL ESTOMAGO
    -MANDIBULA

    RESULTADOS:
    ...
  8. POSTURA DESCANSO FINAL

    INDICACIONES:

    - RECUESTATE BOCA ARRIBA , CON EL CUERPO EXTENDIDO
    - ABRE LIGERAMENTE PIERNAS Y BRAZOS
    - GIRA TUS PALMAS BOCA ARRIBA

    · MANTEN UNA RESPIRACION LIGERA Y CON CALMA
  9. Final Savana

    1. Lie down on your back. Separate your feet as wide as your outer hips and let your feet relax open to the sides
    2. Take your arms away from the sides of your torso. Wiggle your shoulder blades underneath you so they are supporting the weight of your upper back. Turn your arms and ...
  10. 8. Breathe. Draw all of your sensory organs to the breath and follow the breath deep inside. Watch the waves of breath wash through your entire being. Let your entire body ripple with the waves of breath. Be present with yourself.

    9. Continue to release tension until you feel wide open like the s...
  11. Lie down on your mat with your legs restfully still feet flopping out to the sides, arms with hands palms up beside the body. Allow the shoulders to soften and melt into the floor, tuck the chin in ever so slightly so the back of the neck is long. Close your eyes.

    Start by inhaling slowly and d...
  12. Lie down on the mat, taking the feet wider than the hips, palms a little away from the hips.

    Relax the neck, make any adjustments to get comfortable, allowing the entire body to breathe & relax.

    Close the eyes & surrender completely to the mat.
  13. Inhale for 3 counts, Exhale for 3 counts
  14. Eyes closed, connect to breath, maybe hands to belly, relax for 1-2 minutes (minimum :))

Discover more cues, teaching ideas, and how to do steps at How to Do Corpse Pose

Corpse Pose Benefits

Corpse Pose Benefits:

During this pose, you close your eyes and focus on breathing naturally and eliminating tensions from the entire body. This pose brings about a great deal of benefits to the body if practiced after every yoga session with proper breathing. Some of these benefits are listed below.

  • Savasana firstly brings the breath under control and makes it calm and slow which helps relax the entire body.
  • Savasana calms the nervous system as in this pose the spine comes to rest which is close to the ground.
  • As in this pose the muscles are relaxed (which were expanded with the practice of the other yoga poses) the stress gets released thus helping repair tissues and cells.
  • It is believed to have therapeutic effects for anxiety, insomnia and improved blood pressure.
  • This beautiful yoga pose gives room for connecting with ‘you’ and helps in finding answers to many unanswered questions. It helps to completely learn to surrender and try and connect with the ‘soul’.
  • This yoga pose as a therapeutic yoga promotes and improves respiratory and cardiovascular function, promotes recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduces stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improves sleep patterns, and echances overall well-being and quality of life.
Continue reading more on Corpse Pose Benefits

Corpse Pose Contraindications

 (Savasana) Corpse Pose Contraindications:

Certainly one cannot say this pose has contraindications, but one can surely say that it is by itself a difficult yoga pose to practice and master. The best way to put it would be, there are certain people who may find this asana not relaxing and a lot could be related to their personality and their jobs. Let’s take a few cases here.

  • If someone finds the workout not appropriate or enough to feel the need for Savasana, then the whole purpose of this yoga pose is defeated.
  • A very distracted mind is going to find it difficult to relax and by pushing the body, it will only backfire and cause more irritation and bring a headache.
  • If the body hurts too much, then taking the mind away from the body in order to relax is going to be challenging.
  • Someone with severe acidity may find lying on the back very uncomfortable as the food pipe may cause irritation.

Above are few cases where Savasana may not help when practiced. In such situations it is better to have a personal class with one on one attention with the teacher.

Corpse Pose Variations

Corpse Pose Variations: Below are some common variations of the yoga pose Corpse Pose with base pose as Corpse Pose (Savasana).

Corpse Pose Steps

 (Savasana) Corpse Pose Steps:
  1. Begin by first sitting at the centre of the mat in Dandasana stretching the legs out completely bringing the spine straight. Take a few breaths here and place the hands on the thighs and start to calm the breath. Then placing the left hand on the floor turn the hip towards the left side of the mat and slowly bring the side of the back on the mat bending the elbow. Once down turn back again facing up and bring the back completely on the mat making sure the lower back, upper shoulders, back of the head and the calf touch the floor.
  2. Spread the legs more than hip distance apart and relax the outer feet on the floor by pointing the toes outwards and heels inwards.
  3. Bring the arms on the floor keeping them away from the body and stretched with palms facing upwards.
  4. Now close the eyes bringing the chin down a bit and relax the entire body by loosening it completely.
  5. Don’t move any part of the body and keep the eyes calm, the tongue relaxed, the jaws relaxed, the teeth relaxed with the mouth closed and the throat cleared.
  6. Begin the breathing process and take the mind slowly from the lower body to the upper body. Inhale slowly and begin to take the mind to the tip of the toes, inner soles, ankle joints, calf muscles, back of the knee, hamstring muscles, outer thigh muscles, going down to the knee, knee cap, down to the shin bone, outer ankle joint and back to the toes. Relax now the entire leg with slow exhalation.
  7. There should be no movement of the legs now and completely detach your mind away from the leg and begin with the arms.
  8. Take the mind now to the tips of the fingers, moving inwards to the palms, wrist joints, inner forearm, inner elbow, upper arm, biceps and triceps muscles, outer elbow, outer forearm, back of the wrist and back to the tips of the fingers. Relax now the entire arm with slow exhalation.
  9. Bring the mind now to the back of the neck, moving upwards to the back of the head, crown of the head, forehead, the entire facial muscles, the eye balls, the mouth, the tongue, the teeth, the jaws and the chin. Relax now the entire face and the head and calm the eyes completely without bringing movement to the eyeballs.
  10. Taking the mind to the throat, take a few deep breaths here through the nostrils and feel the coolness moving from the mouth down to the throat and the chest and hold this breath for a few seconds and exhale slowly without any noise relaxing the mind and the eyes. Continue this for about 6 breaths and feel the soothing energy within you as inhale and exhale.
  11. Take your mind to the chest, the ribs, the entire abdomen, going down to the pelvic and to the inner thighs. Relax the entire upper body now with slow exhalation.
  12. Now move to the sides of the upper legs, the hip joint, moving inwards to the lower back, then slowly upwards to the middle back, the shoulder blades, in between the shoulder blades, the upper back at the shoulders and finally the place where the shoulder and neck meet. Relax the entire body now completely and stay detached from the body. Move all the energy to the tip of the nostril and watch the inflow and outflow of this energy and with the awareness the body will slowly begin to relax.
  13. Now the entire body is put to comfort and watch the mind now. If the mind wanders give it a few breaths and pause for a few breaths and exhale slowly.
  14. Never mind if you sleep :-), this will be overcome with practice. Stay here till the entire body feels relaxed first and then taking the focus to the mind and the thoughts bring it under control with slow exhalation.
Learn more: Corpse Pose Steps

Corpse Pose Modifications

 (Savasana) Corpse Pose Modifications:

To enjoy Savasana and make it successful, certain modifications or alternatives can be looked into. Mentioning a few below.

  • If the back feels uncomfortable, one could use a blanket for more support to raise the spine away from the floor.
  • If the neck hurts, use a blanket or a cushion below the neck and the head for extra support.
  • To give a better support for the back, use a bolster below the knees or raise the knees by placing the blanket.
  • Cover the eyes, with a black cloth to avoid light and focus better.
  • If one is finding the breath fast and hard, calm the breath by doing alternate nostril breathing for about 12 rounds with each nostril.
  • If the mind wanders, allow it to without focusing on the thoughts and take the mind to the feeling of the inhalation and exhalation at the tip of the nostril.
  • If the thoughts in the mind are creating stress levels, bring a broad smile on the face with a deep breath and repeat this till the thought eases.

To tame ‘Prana’ depends upon the nerves. Steady, smooth, fine and deep breathing without any jerky movements of the body soothes the nerves and calms the mind. The stresses of modern civilisation are a strain on the nerves for which Savasana is the best antidote.

Corpse Pose Preparatory Poses

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Corpse Pose Relaxing Follow-up Poses

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Corpse Pose Yoga Sequence Level Up Follow-up Poses

To gain better results from Savasana, repeated practice is essential. Mastery over this asana comes with awareness of the body and the mind and connecting it with the universe around you. If one wants to take Savasana to the next level after reaching a comfort level with this practice, one could practice it with the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra initially for 21 counts and then slowly increase the chants to 51 and finally to 108 chants.

This powerful technique will help in completely relaxing the body and staying aware of the breathing and using the energy to heal the entire body. Savasana can bring miracles to the body if practiced with an open mind and the mind to surrender. The chanting of the Gayatri Mantra will bring glow to the body. But make sure this practice is done in a room free of any direct sunlight and the environment is quiet with no fan or air conditioner.

Corpse Pose Yoga Sequences

List of yoga sequences with Corpse Pose:

Corpse Pose Titles in English and Sanskrit

Many yoga poses have multiple titles because of differences in their Sanskrit to English title translation or a specific title becoming popular because of it's common usage amongst yoga teachers and yoga practitioners. Below are common titles of Corpse Pose:

  • Corpse Pose
  • Savasana

Corpse Pose Sanskrit

Corpse Pose sanskrit title is Savasana

Please click on the link below to listen to Sanskrit pronunciation of Corpse Pose:
Sanskrit audio pronunciation for  Savasana Play Sanskrit audio pronunciation for Savasana

Corpse Pose References

Scientific articles that were referenced to describe benefits and contraindications for Corpse Pose. Please find them below.

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