The Corpse ‘Shavasana’ posture

The Shavasana or the ‘corpse pose’ in yoga is considered to be one of the most important of mind ‘mindful’ aware postures in yoga. The corpse pose is seen as one of the best posture to revitalise the body and mind.

The practice of Shavasana ‘The Corpse Pose’ is intended to relax the body and mind. This asana is just like experiencing “death” with no movement of the body once you are in the right state but with mind remaining conscious. 


Shavasana helps…
  • Understand Body-Mind Connect
  • Lower blood pressue
  • Decrease heart rate
  • Decrease respiratory rate
  • Increase energy levels
  • Reduce stress and anxiety

How to prepare for Shavasana?

1/9. Lie down- Savasana is practiced by laying down on flat bed or any other flat surface.

2/9. Eyes closed- Keep the eyes closed for better inward concentration. If the eyes open in between, don’t stress, simply close them again because it is human nature to want to be sense aware of the surrounds.

3/9. No Disturbance- It would be good if there is no disturbance around as it will be easy to practice this asana. So, select a suitable time for doing it when there is no disturbance. Early morning or late night time (before sleep) is generally preferable for this reason, but it can be any other time of the day. Phones and other gadgets should be switched off.

4/9. Remove ornamentations and wearables- It is advisable not to wear any ornamentation, such as rings, chains, bracelets, bands, belts or any other similar thing as it obstructs the flow of energy and they can also make distracting noise.

5/9. Wearing loose clothing is preferable. 

6/9. Comfortable posture- You should also remain comfortable with respect to external environmental conditions. During summers, you should not be sweating for lack of air in room and during winters, not to be shivering for lack of warm clothing on body. There is no problem if you wear socks, have loosely tied muffler around neck and have a cap on head during winters. 

7/9. Do not push back sleep- If you fall asleep which normally happens automatically during this practice, it is due to relaxation and, therefore, do not stress yourself by thinking over it. If it happens, let it happen.

8/9. Ideally remain Mindful- It might take a few minutes for the body to come into the state of mindfulness and complete relaxation. So, if it does not happen fast, do not worry and do not push hard. 

9/9. Time is no consideration- Do not bind yourself in any time limit. Always remember, this is Shavasana… The Corpse Pose.


How to practice Shavasana?

While practicing this asana, the body has to remain in state of utmost relaxation with no movement and mental state has to be of conscious mindfulness.

While lying down, you do not have to fight the thoughts even if they come by. Just remain a bystander to these thoughts without judging them. Remain an observer… 

Your focus has to be on noticing movement of breath in and out. The breathing rate will slow down and breath will become calm and complete.

The spine should be placed comfortably on the ground. You might have to do this consciously by adjusting the shoulders and lower back a little bit. The adjustments will tell the right state of relaxation when it is reached. 

Move your consciousness from your toe upward in slow and gradual manner with conscious effort on removing stress from every single muscle, nerve and bone. Spend some time at every point in this process of removing stress. Do not hurry. 

There is a perceptible flow of energy with movement of consciousness and you shall be able to feel it.

Consciousness should move up from toe to ankle, calves, pelvis and hip area. Release tensions off your lower back and let it touch the ground followed by relaxation of muscles of lower back and abdominal area. 

Feel the energy moving up from the gut through the spine, flowing through all organs on both sides and moving up on to upper body parts such as rib cage and chest area. Feel the ribs moving rhythmically with breath. 

The next focus of awareness is on tension in shoulders. Let the shoulder be released to the ground by drooping the collar bone. 

Feel the consciousness move from one point to the next one, in a slow and graded manner ensuring that the point has relaxed. Slowly, take consciousness to the arms and feel the flow of energy in both the arms, right till the finger tips. Thereafter comes the turn of neck, jaw and jawbones, temple and ear, eyes, forehead and finally the head. Stress in muscles shall be released one by one with conscious effort. Once done, scan through the whole body with awareness. You experience a state of peace and bliss. 

When you reach a deep state during this practice, you would notice that you are not willing to move even an inch of body. It feels as if body is firmly attached to ground while a sense of relaxed energy flows through the body. 


Use of props for Shavasana ‘The Corpse Pose’…

Sometimes, there can be situations when the muscular stress and spasm present in body remains for a long period of time while doing Shavasana in normal way as described above. 

This stress normally develops in feet, lower back, shoulders, neck, temples and forehead region. The reason for stress is sitting, standing and working in same posture for long time. 

To reduce this muscular tension, use is made of different props, such as chairs and pillows to get some help in practice of savasana. However, these need to be removed at a later stage during the course of doing the corpse pose.


Shavasana posture has variations. So, talk to your yoga teacher as to which suits you the best. This is important, especially if you have medical disorders.

Aashish Nanda

The information provided on this website is intended for general reading purpose ONLY. Please do not use this information to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. Please consult a professional, in case you need any advice...

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