Savasana (Corpse Yoga Pose) – 14 Benefits and Contraindications

What does the term Savasana means in Sanskrit?

  • In Sanskrit, the word sava means ”corpse”, Asana means the Yoga Pose
  • In Savasana, the body is kept as motionless as a corpse and the mind is alert, yet calm.

Interesting Facts of Savasana

  • This Yoga Pose makes you experience the oneness of the body and the mind, and you experience the inner silence.
  • When you practice this asana, your organs of perception which are the eyes, ears, and tongue withdraw from the outside world.

Benefits of Savasana

  1. Helps alleviate nervous tension
  2. This Savasana Yoga Pose helps to get rid of the sleeplessness (insomnia)
  3. Relaxes the body and eases breathing
  4. Soothes the sympathetic nervous system
  5. Enhances recovery from all long term or serious illnesses
  6. Removes physical and mental fatigue
  7. Helps treat high blood pressure
  8. This Savasana is the best Yoga Pose which brings the peace of mind
  9. Alleviates the symptoms of respiratory diseases and eases breathing
  10. Speeds recuperation after an illness
  11. The best Yoga Asana to relieve migraine
  12. Helps toward refreshing, dreamless sleep, especially for those with sleep disorders
  13. This Yoga Pose helps to cure the stress-related headaches
  14. This Yoga Pose helps to get relief from severe and disabling tiredness / fatigue (chronic fatigue syndrome)

Why do we need Savasana?

A lot happens in our bodies during savasana, despite (and because of) our stillness. Savasana offers the body rest after a yoga practice.

The Corpse pose, Savasana, gives some good clues about how to handle change: relax, don’t struggle, be in the moment, surrender, let go. This is renunciation.

The pose shows us how to practice so we are prepared to release and let ourselves be transformed.

It is a time when our musculo-skeletal and nervous systems integrate the practice we just finished; a time when the fight-flight-or-freeze states that typify the majority of our daily lives take a back seat and the rest-and-digest mechanisms in our parasympathetic nervous systems take the driver’s seat; a time when our digestive and immune systems function best; and, a time when our minds become more calm and clear.

But, as is true with all kinds of meditation (and savasana is meant to be a type of mediation practice), it’s almost impossible to not think.

Our brains want to think…it’s what they do!

On the mental level, savasana provides the opportunity to take a break from active thinking and be present in the moment with the sensations of the body: the sweat trickling down our foreheads and ribcages, the rise and fall of our bellies as we breathe, the support of our mats beneath us.

The challenge is to turn off active thinking and simply observe these sensations without letting yourself get caught up in the stories that might accompany them.

Contraindications and Cautions

  • If you are pregnant, have arespiratory ailment, or experience anxiety, practice savasana with your head and chest raised on a bolster .
  • if you have a backache, lie with your back on the floor, and rest your calves on the seat of a chair, with your thighs perpendicular to the floor.
  • Do not practice savasana between other asanas.

How to do Savasana – Step by step Instructions

Step 1

  • Spread the mat on the floor.
  • Place a bolster on the mat, with its long sides parallel to the long sides of the mat.
  • Sit in Dandasana with the short end of the bolster against your buttocks, and place the folded blanket on the far end.
  • If you have osteoarthritis of the knees or if your legs are feeling tired, place a bolster under your knees

Step 2

  • Bend your knees and bring your heels closer to the buttocks.
  • Hold the tops of your shins and press your buttock bones down on the floor.
  • Check that your back is straight.

Step 3

  • To lower your torso toward the floor, place your forearms and palms on the floor and lean back on your elbows.
  • Do not move your feet, knees, or buttocks.

Step 4

  • Lower your torso to the floor, vertebra by vertebra, until the back of your head rests on the floor.
  • Turn your palms to face the ceiling.
  • Close your eyes, then straighten your legs, one by one.

Step 4 for Intermediates

  • Stretch your torso away from your hips to straighten the spine.
  • Extend the spine fully and keep it flat on the floor.
  • Make sure that the stretch along the legs and the torso is equal on both sides of the body.

Step 5

  • Relax your legs, allowing them to drop gently to the sides.
  • Ensure that your kneecaps drop to the sides equally.
  • Move your arms away from your torso without raising your shoulders off the floor.
  • Push your collar bones out to the sides.
  • Keep your eyes closed and focus on your breathing.
  • Stay in this pose for 5-7 minutes.

Step 5 for Intermediates

  • Visualize your spine.
  • Rest the outer edge of your spine comfortably on the floor.
  • Expand your chest out to the sides and relax your sternum.
  • Focus on your diaphragm it should be absolutely free of tension.
  • As you push your collar bones out to the sides, allow your neck to dip to the floor.
  • Relax the muscles of your neck.

Advanced Work in the Pose

As your neck dips to the floor, you will feel a soothing sensation in the back of your brain.

When this area of the brain relaxes, move on to the front of the brain.

From the crown of the head, the energy should descend in a spiral action toward the bridge of the nose, and down to a point located at the sternum.

When the energy reaches this point, the three layers and five sheaths that comprise your body come together and are integrated into a single, harmonious whole. This is the ultimate aim of Savasana.


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