If you have taken a yoga class, you may be familiar with Savasana (or Shavasana), the final resting pose in most yoga practices. It is also called “corpse pose,” the literal translation from Sanskrit. In this post, we review the role Savasana plays in your yoga practice, its benefits, and how to do the pose properly.
What Is Savasana?
Savasana is a restorative pose or posture used in yoga, often at the end of a session to calm the nervous system. It is one of the most physically accessible poses but one of the hardest to master mentally – mostly because of a busy mind. Some yoga practices do savasana at the beginning of class, while in others, the instructor will do Savasana in between postures. Finding something to focus on, such as your breath, will let you be present and in the moment so you can reap the pose’s benefits. Stay in the pose as long as possible to maintain quiet space before jumping up to tackle the day.
Benefits of Savasana
Savasana calms the body and mind by reducing stress in the parasympathetic nervous system. It can also aid the digestive and immune systems; reduce headaches, fatigue, and anxiety; and even lower blood pressure.
How to Do Savasana
Here are some step-by-step instructions for mastering Savasana.
- Lie flat on your back. Separate your legs. Let go of holding your legs straight so that your feet can fall open to either side.
- Bring your arms alongside your body, slightly separated from your torso. Face your palms upward and let your fingers naturally curl in.
- Gently tuck your shoulder blades onto your back for support.
- Relax your whole body, including your face. Let your body feel heavy.
- Let your breathing occur naturally. If your mind wanders, bring your attention to your breath.
- Stay for a minimum of five minutes. If you are practicing at home, set an alarm. Do not fall asleep!
- To come out of Savasana, deepen your breath. Wiggle your fingers and toes, slowly reawakening your body.
- Stretch your arms overhead for a full body stretch from hands to feet.
- Bring your knees to your chest and roll over to one side. Use your bottom arm as a pillow while resting in a fetal position for a few breaths.
- Use your hands for support to return to a seated position.
If you are a visual learner, watch this Alo Moves video on “how to do the corpse pose.”