Shavasana or Corpse Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Shavasana, Corpse Pose
Sanskrit
शवासन / Śavāsana
Pronunciation
shah-VAH-suh-nuh
Meaning
śavā : “corpse”
āsana: “posture”

Introduction

Savasana (shah-VAH-suh-nuh) is a pose that takes us to the next level of our practice, which is pranayama. This pose teaches us to keep the spine elongated while reclining and cultivates stillness. The physical and the mental body are trained to be quiet in this pose. In a good yoga practice, the entire body is stretched, contracted, twisted, and even inverted. The only thing left to do is to completely relax the body.

Muscles that may have been tense are allowed to relax, thereby releasing any unnecessary tension they were exerting on other structures such as the bones, nerves, and joints. In this state of relaxation, the heart rate and breathing slow down, which also helps in reducing blood pressure.

Therefore, Savasana is a good pose for all and should not be skipped.

According to an article The ancient Vedic texts describe meditation as an exercise of consciousness that results in the expansion and increasing efficiency of one’s inner faculty. The process occurs without any direction from your mind, which can cause you to feel more at peace with yourself than ever before!

Muscle Focus

  • None

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • To relax completely.
  • To calm your mind and body.
  • To feel the grounding.
  • To promote self-healing.

Benefits of Shavasana or Corpse Pose

1. Releases Unnecessary Tension

In a good yoga practice, the entire body is stretched, contracted, twisted, and even inverted. The only thing left to do is to completely relax the body.

Muscles that may have been tense are allowed to relax, thereby releasing any unnecessary tension they were exerting on other structures such as the bones, nerves, and joints.

2. Helps Reduce Blood Pressure

The heart rate and breathing slow down, which also helps in reducing blood pressure.

3. Promotes Healing

In a relaxed state, the body is able to heal and rejuvenate itself.

4. Reduces Stress

When we are stressed, our sympathetic nervous system is activated, which can lead to health problems over time. Shavasana helps us to switch off this system and induces a state of relaxation.

5. Improves Sleep

Shavasana can help improve the quality of your sleep by releasing tension and promoting relaxation.

6. Calms the Brain

The practice of Shavasana helps to calm the brain and induces a state of peace.

7. Prepares you for the Meditative Practices

Shavasana is a pose that teaches us to keep the spine elongated while reclining and cultivates stillness. The physical and mental body are trained to be quiet in this pose, which prepares you for meditative practices.

8. Helps to Deal with Fatigue

If you are feeling fatigued, Shavasana can help to rejuvenate your body and refresh your mind.

9. It is the First Step Towards the Pratyahara or Withdrawal from the Senses

In Shavasana, we learn to completely let go and relax the body and mind. This is the first step towards the Pratyahara or Withdrawal from the senses.

10.  Quiets the Mind

Savasana teaches us to keep the spine elongated while reclining and cultivates stillness. The physical and mental body are trained to be quiet in this pose.

Contraindications

Those with back issues can do the pose with a bolster under their knees. Those with a reverse curve in their necks should place a small rolled blanket under the neck. The body should be warm in Savasana. If the environment is cold, cover the body with a blanket. Keep the room dark or cover the eyes with an eye bag or bandage.

Variations

  • Makarasana (Crocodile Pose)

Preparatory Pose

  • None

Beginner’s Tips

  • If you find it difficult to keep your spine grounded to the floor, place a folded blanket under your lower back.
  • You can also rest your arms on a bolster or pillow to make them more comfortable.
  • Make sure you are warm and comfortable before practicing Shavasana and feel free to use blankets if needed.
  • If you’re struggling to relax, focus on your breath and count each inhales and exhales. This will help quiet the mind.

How to do Corpse Pose

  • First, slowly lie down on your spine and try to keep your entire spine grounded to the floor.
  • Stretch your legs out and let them fall open with the feet slightly apart. Let your arms fall open to the sides, with the palms facing up.
  • Take a few deep breaths and allow your whole body to become heavy and relax into the pose.
  • Close your eyes and scan your body from head to toe, looking for any areas of tension. Consciously release and relax any tight muscles.
  • Stay in the pose for anywhere from a few minutes to 20-30 minutes.
  • When you’re ready to come out of the pose, slowly roll to one side and then use your hands to push yourself up to a seated position. Take a moment to rest before standing up.

Mental Benefits of Bound Angle Pose

  • Relaxes the body and mind.
  • Pratyahara or Withdrawal from the senses.
  • We are able to cultivate stillness and peace.
  • Prepares us for the meditative practices.

Bottom Line

Savasana is an important pose that should not be skipped in yoga practice. It releases tension, reduces stress, and promotes healing. It also helps improve the quality of your sleep. If you are feeling stressed or tense, try doing some Corpse Pose! You may just find yourself feeling a lot better afterward.

1 sources
  1. https://www.ayujournal.org/article.asp?issn=0974-8520;year=2015;volume=36;issue=3;spage=233;epage=237;aulast=Sharma
Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga. She is known around the world for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was also recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. Meera is a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

One thought on “Shavasana or Corpse Pose

  1. Namaskaram,
    I loved this video. As a person with special muscle and join tissues (basically abnormal collagen by birth) I am unable to exercise. At 60 I have been through a great journey to understand my health. During the process doctors have further damaged my health with constant physiotherapy. This is not to blame them, they have done the best they can. I have met some wonderfully human, compassionate doctors and therapists along the Course of my journey. At the moment, they are the ones who have diagnosed my problem and offered clues to next steps.
    I have understood clearly that my body cannot tolerate exercise. Even sustaining a 15 minute daily walk program is a challenge. and up until now, cannot breathe very well and therefore avoided yoga too.My father practiced yoga and I am aware of its benefits, but did not know how to proceed with it, as most practitioners, and even relatives and ordinary people around me do not understand my issues.It was while reading a book that I came upon the concept that yoga emphasise stillness rather than active agitation of the body. I found it fascinating, and realised immediately that this was the solution I was looking for.
    Now I a much better, and ready to consider yogic breathing. During the course of my research, mainly by reading and browsing, it struck me that possibly, along with breathing, shavasana is a very good start for my journey into yoga. I would love to know if you sell videos to coach students, or whether you can assign a guide to work with me online (I live in Singapore) Do you have teachers certified by you in Singapore, and in Chennai India?
    What I love about this video is the special attention you have accorded to just the act of getting into and out of the pose. I have both the problems you mention in the video.

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