How to Do Corpse Pose (Savasana) in Yoga

Proper Form, Variations, and Common Mistakes

How to Do Corpse Pose - Savasana
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Also Known As: Final Relaxation

Targets: Relaxation

Level: Beginner

No yoga session is complete without a final relaxation posture. Even though Corpse Pose (Savasana) is a resting pose, it’s not the same a sleeping. You should try to stay present and aware during the five to 10 minutes you spend in final relaxation.

Benefits

 Savasana allows your body and mind time to process what has happened during a yoga class. It provides a necessary counterpoint to the effort you put forth during asana practice. You may also practice Savasana at home before sleeping as a way to quiet your mind and get more restful sleep.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Lie down on your back.

  1. Separate your legs. Let go of holding your legs straight so that your feet can fall open to either side.
  2. Bring your arms alongside your body, but slightly separated from your torso. Turn your palms to face upwards but don't try to keep them open. Let the fingers curl in.
  3. Tuck your shoulder blades onto your back for support. This is a similar movement to tucking the shoulders under in Bridge Pose, but less intense.
  4. Once you have set up your limbs, release any effort from holding them in position. Relax your whole body, including your face. Let your body feel heavy.
  5. Let your breathing occur naturally. If your mind wanders, you can bring your attention to your breath but try to just notice it, not deepen it.
  6. Stay for a minimum of five minutes. Ten minutes is better. If you are practicing at home, set an alarm so that you are not compelled to keep checking the time.
  7. To come out, first begin to the deepen your breath. Then begin to wiggle your fingers and toes, slowly reawakening your body.
  8. Stretch your arms overhead for a full body stretch from hands to feet.
  1. Bring your knees into your chest and roll over to one side, keeping your eyes closed. Use your bottom arm as a pillow while you rest in a fetal position for a few breaths.
  2. Using your hands for support, bring yourself back up into a sitting position.

Common Mistakes

Difficulty Doing Nothing

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 the physical practice.

Active Mind

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.

Modifications and Variations

Need a Modification?

Using props during Savasana can make the pose more comfortable and relaxing. 

  • To emphasize the feeling that the body is rooted to the earth, place a folded blanket over your thighs. A block just under your navel has a similar effect, as does an eye pillow.
  • If it's at all chilly in the room, cover up before coming into Savasana. Use an unfolded yoga blanket or put on your sweater and socks. It's very difficult to relax when you are cold.

Safety and Precautions

If you have low back tenderness or stiffness, a rolled blanket or bolster under your knees helps bring the pelvis into a more comfortable position. If you are pregnant, use a rolled blanket or bolster to raise your head and chest.

Try It Out

Incorporate this move and similar ones into one of these popular workouts:

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