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Corpse/Resting Pose: Foundation Yoga Pose Series

SAVASANA

Level 1: Beginner

Despite being a resting posture, Savasana (‘sava’ = corpse in Sanskrit) can be considered to be one of the most difficult, as many people can find it challenging to surrender. It is a worthy posture in its own right, and a vital aspect of finishing a yoga practice. Even if you find it tricky to begin with, it will get easier, and more enjoyable, with practise.

Benefits:

  • Recovery at the end of your yoga practice
  • Promotes total relaxation of the body
  • Calms the mind and nervous system
  • Revitalises and increases energy
  • Is the foundation for Yoga Nidra

Contraindications/Cautions (consult your physician):

  • Back pain/sciatica
  • Chest issues- cough, bronchitis, excessive mucous. Use props to elevate the head above the chest when lying down.
  • Pregnancy- safe for first trimester in the classic pose. For second and third trimesters modify by either lying on the left side with bolsters to support, or by raising the head and chest with comfortable props.
Savasana/Corpse pose
Position yourself and then totally surrender the body and the mind.

1). Lie down on your mat on your back.

2). Allow the feet to fall out equally in a natural position. Release the hips, legs, and feet down into the ground.

3). Move the arms slightly away from the body, keeping them straight with palms facing up. Have some space in the armpit area and gently tuck the shoulders slightly underneath the body. Release the shoulders, arms, and hands down into the ground.

4). Slightly tuck the chin down towards the chest to gently elongate the neck in a neutral position. Make sure your shoulders are down away from your ears.

5). Close the eyes. Release the whole body down into the ground and surrender. Breathe here. If you’re having trouble settling try Belly Breathing for a few breaths to calm the mind and body.

Svanasana in reception
Relaxing in Savasana (corpse) pose

NOTES:

  • A general guide for Savasana is to stay in this posture for 5 minutes for every 30 minutes of yoga practice you have done, but there is no set rule. Just make sure you include some time in Savasana at the end of your sequence.
  • Some yogis find it comforting to wear warm clothing/socks during Savasana, or be covered with a blanket. Some yogis also use eye bags to add some gentle weight, which can promote relaxation for some people.
  • Don’t panic if thoughts keep popping up- just gently push them away and return to the breath.

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