It may seem simple on the outside, but Corpse Pose is actually one of the most important yoga poses! Here’s why…
If you’ve ever been to any yoga class – ever – you have almost certainly experienced Corpse Pose (Savasana). In fact, when I first started doing yoga, I was totally confused by this pose at first! How is this a yoga pose? I wondered. You are just lying there, doing nothing… What does this accomplish? These days, it is one of my absolute favorite poses, and I would never end a yoga session without it!
Corpse Pose, while arguably the “easiest” yoga pose in a physical sense, is often thought to be one of the most important yoga poses.
The Corpse Pose is usually the final pose in a yoga class. Also known as the Final Relaxation Pose, its purpose is to take you deep inside yourself through total relaxation and concentration. Because this pose is more mental than physical, it is often the hardest pose for beginner yogis to achieve!
In this pose, you lie completely still and concentrate on the awareness of your deepest and innermost state of consciousness, thus releasing the emotions and ideas that unconsciously guide your life – sometimes down the wrong path. It is here in this state that you find your true self – or, at least, that is the goal.
Benefits of Corpse Pose
Besides the physical benefits of the Corpse Pose, such as a decrease in heart rate, muscle tension and metabolic rate, lower blood pressure, and a slowed rate of breathing, you’ll also experience a deeper calmness between your mind, body, and soul. It is this awareness of the connection between all three that helps you focus, stay calm and experience less stress throughout the rest of your chaotic and hectic day. And we all know that having less stress both mentally and physically has many health benefits of its own.
How to Do Corpse Pose
• Start by lying on your back with your legs straight and arms at your sides with your hands about six inches away from your body, palms up. Let your feet naturally rotate outward. And close your eyes.
• Breathe in and out naturally.
• Relax and allow your body to feel as if it were sinking into the floor.
• Starting at the soles of your feet and working up to the top of your head, concentrate on releasing every part of your body.
• When you get to your head, concentrate on relaxing your face; let your eyes fall deep in their sockets. Peace and silence should permeate throughout your mind, body, and soul.
• Dedicate five minutes to this pose for every 30 minutes of yoga practice.
• To end the pose, begin to deepen your breath. Slowly, and through gentle movement, bring the physical awareness back to your body, by starting at the far end of your extremities and wiggling your fingers and toes. Now roll to your left or right side; lay there and rest for a moment. When ready, deeply inhale while bringing yourself up to a comfortable seated position.
• Finish bringing yourself back to the present and carry the peace and stillness derived from the pose with you throughout the rest of your day.
Many yoga instructors emphasize that if you have to leave class early, you may forgo doing a pose or two, but do not forgo doing the Corpse Pose. No yoga practice is complete without this final relaxation pose!