If you practice yoga, then you surely know this pose, and if you don’t do yoga, you may have seen a picture of it; people lying on their backs, arms and legs spread. This is the savasana, or the corpse.
Is savasana just lying on the floor and relaxing? Yes and no. You learn and practice to relax with attention, without falling asleep, in order to release tensions in your mind and body.
What does Savasana or Shavasana mean?
The Savasana or also called Shavasana, is a pose within yoga.
Shav means corpse or dead body. And asana is a pose or posture. So shavasana means corpse pose, or corpse position.
When do you do Savasana?
Savasana is usually practiced at the end of a yoga class or a series of asanas (yoga postures).
The active asanas help you to stretch, strengthen, open and release tensions in the muscles. This makes it easier to relax in Savasana. Active poses also help relax your diaphragm, allowing breathing to move more freely.
But you can also perform savasana very well separately from yoga. Especially if you have a busy life, it can be very beneficial to spend every day a few minutes in this corpse position. Perhaps this is more pleasant for you than sitting down to meditate.
Practicing savasana before going to sleep, can promote falling asleep, as well to improve the quality of sleep itself.
Benefits of Savasana:
-You can completely relax
-Reduced tension and stress, anxiety and fear
-Gives a clear mind
-Functions as a muscle relaxant
-Creates deep breathing
-Letting go of certain emotions
-Is healthy for your heart
In my next blog I will go more into detail about the benefits of this pose.
Props to practice the corpse position:
The pose allows you to gradually become really relaxed, But lying on a mat is not as easy for everyone. If so, I recommend using props (such as a pillow) to support a part of your body.
But even if you normally lie perfectly without anything extra, it can help you to learn to relax more consciously and to refine your pose.
-Place a folded towel under your head and neck so that it is straight and long.
-Place a pillow or rolled yoga mat under your knees
-If you have back pain or leg problems, you can use a chair on which you put your lower legs
-Put a light small pillow or cloth on your eyes to help relax your eyes and head
How do you perform the savasana pose?
Getting into the corpse pose
Lie on your back, with your legs slightly spread, this will allow them to relax better. The arms are slightly away from the body, up to about 45 degrees, your palms are facing up.
Your head is straight and you close your eyes. Try to keep your eyes closed.
Also try not to move your body anymore, if you feel discomfort or pain then change position.
The first minutes of relaxation
Often people start with a so-called body scan. You focus on a different part of your body each time. This helps you to let go of those body parts and really relax. One way is to start with attention at the feet and then slowly work your way up to the head.
How long do you lie down in savasana?
A guideline is 10 to 20 minutes.
Or 5 minutes for every thirty minutes you’ve done asanas/physical poses or exercise. So if you’ve been active for an hour, do the savasana for 10 minutes or more.
Finish up the pose.
Before moving out of your pose, you can take a deep breath, bend or stretch a part of the body if you feel the need to. Then bend your knees and roll to your right side. Lie there for a few breaths, before consciously and attentively raise yourself to a sitting position.
Being relaxed without falling asleep
With savasana you learn to relax with attention, that is, to remain aware and alert while being very relaxed. You rest but you are awake.
Staying aware while relaxing, can help you notice and release long-lasting tensions in your body and mind.
Doing this exercise regularly will help you release stress faster and more easily and improve your physical and emotional well-being.
Savasana is also about surrender. You may feel all kind of emotions rising when you lie in this position.
Within my yoga classes I always end with a final relaxation. This is sometimes in a seated meditation pose, but usually with savansana. The kind of guidance varies, from full body scan to the use my singing bowl. People often fall asleep, and that’s okay. The body and/or the mind then needs it. Next time someone might stay awake.
You can find many guided meditations online to help you relax. See what and who suits you best and I hope you will allow yourself to lie down like a corpse more often.
Hi, my name is Jolinda, and I work as a massage and Reiki therapist, happiness coach and provide yoga and meditation classes.
With my blogs I hope to inspire you to improve your health and increase your well-being and overall feeling of happiness. For more ideas and tips check out my page Jolindas inspiration.