Yoga

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Posted: May 02, 2018

Corpse Pose Savasana (SAAH-vaa-SUN-ah) — At first glance, Corpse Pose appears to be the easiest asana in yoga. However, this posture requires complete relaxation and stillness, making it one of the most challenging asanas. Besides being the most challenging posture in yoga, Savasana is also the most important. In modern yoga classes, practitioners are quick to leave after a few seconds in Corpse Pose, viewing it as an optional asana due to the lack of action in the posture. However, a practice without Savasana is incomplete, as it is the final resting posture that allows the yogi to assimilate and absorb all of the prana created in the more active postures. It gets its name from the Sanskrit words, sava, meaning corpse, and asana, meaning posture.

Level of Difficulty: Beginner

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Lie on your back with your legs comfortably apart and arms on the ground next to your abdomen.
  2. Allow yourself to take up as much space as is comfortable.
  3. Release all tension in your feet and legs, and feel your lower body sink into the ground.
  4. Continue the body scan, slowly releasing tension from your thighs, pelvis and hips, abdomen, chest, shoulders, left arm and hands, right arm and hands, neck, face, tongue and scalp. As you scan your body, feel yourself sink into deeper and deeper relaxation.
  5. Release your eyes and brain, and let go of all control of your sense organs.
  6. Allow yourself to breath naturally, discontinuing any control you have over your breath. Breathe naturally.
  7. Stay in the posture for at least 5 minutes, and up to 20 if possible.
  8. To come out, slowly bring your attention back to your breath.
  9. Gently bring your attention back to your body and slowly move your fingers, hands and feet.
  10. Slowly roll over to your right side and lie in fetal position for a few breaths, feeling the renewal of fetal position.
  11. When you are ready, gently press yourself up with your hands and sit with legs crossed and eyes closed.

Benefits

  • Provides deep relaxation and restoration for the entire mind-body
  • Relaxes the sympathetic nervous system
  • Reduces headache and fatigue
  • Helps relieve insomnia
  • Integrates the entire yoga practice into the mind and body
     

Precautions

  • Back problems
  • Pregnancy

Modifications and Variations

To modify: For knee and/or lower back problems, place a blanket or bolster underneath your knees. For a deeper experience, place a lightly weighted eye pillow over your eyes to release the muscles of your eyes.

Preparatory Poses and Follow up Poses

You can practice savasana at the end of your asana practice. It is also recommended to incorporate savasana after every 30 minutes of asana practice.  


While a regular yoga practice can result in improved health, know that it is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is important to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained teacher. In the case of a medical condition, practice yoga after consulting a doctor. Do you need information on courses? Contact us at programs@us.artofliving.org to find a Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you.

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