Savasana (Corpse Yoga Pose) – 18 Powerful Benefits and Contraindications

Savasana
  • Savasana, also known as Corpse Pose, is a foundational relaxation pose practiced at the end of a yoga session.
  • It involves lying flat on your back in a relaxed and still position, allowing the body and mind to enter a state of deep relaxation.
  • Despite its seemingly simple appearance, Savasana is considered one of the most important and beneficial yoga poses.

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 that is the body, the mind and soul thereby 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. Stress reduction: By calming the nervous system and activating the relaxation response, Savasana reduces stress, anxiety, and fatigue.
  2. Helps alleviate nervous tension
  3. This Savasana Yoga Pose helps to get rid of the sleeplessness (insomnia)
  4. Relaxes the body, provides rest and eases breathing. Savasana promotes a state of profound relaxation, helping to release physical, mental, and emotional tension.
  5. Soothes the sympathetic nervous system
  6. Restoration and rejuvenation: Savasana allows the body and mind to recharge, restoring energy levels and promoting overall well-being.
  7. Enhances recovery from all long term or serious illnesses
  8. Removes physical and mental fatigue
  9. Helps treat high blood pressure
  10. Integration of the yoga practice: Savasana provides an opportunity to integrate the physical, mental, and energetic benefits of the yoga practice.
  11. This Savasana is the best Yoga Pose which brings the peace of mind
  12. Alleviates the symptoms of respiratory diseases and eases breathing
  13. Speeds recuperation after an illness
  14. The best Yoga Asana to relieve migraine
  15. Helps toward refreshing, dreamless sleep, especially for those with sleep disorders
  16. This Yoga Pose helps to cure the stress-related headaches
  17. The best one to get rid of severe and disabling tiredness / fatigue (chronic fatigue syndrome)
  18. Mindfulness and self-awareness: The stillness of Savasana enhances mindfulness, self-awareness, and the ability to observe sensations, thoughts, and emotions without judgment.

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.

Coming out of the Pose

  • Slowly bring your awareness back into contact with your surroundings.
  • Open your eyes.
  • Bend your right knee and roll on to your right side.
  • Push yourself up on your right arm and come to a cross-legged sitting position.

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.

Savasana is accessible to practitioners of all levels and can be adapted to suit individual needs.

It is often considered the final and most important posture of a yoga practice, allowing for integration and reflection.

Why do we need Savasana?

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

Our minds are wired to think.It’s what they carry out!

The Corpse Pose, or Sarasana, provides some helpful guidance on how to

Change: unwind, let up, live in the now, surrender, let go. This is giving up. The position demonstrates how to prepare oneself for release and self-transformation via practise.

It is nearly difficult to not think when practising savasana, as is the case with all forms of meditation, and this is precisely the intention of the practise.
The trick is to stop thinking actively and just pay attention to these feelings without allowing your mind to fill in any possible narratives.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Savasana is a practice of deep relaxation, allowing your body and mind to rejuvenate and integrate the benefits of your yoga practice. It is important to give yourself ample time in Savasana and avoid rushing through it. Remember, the intention is to fully surrender and let go, allowing yourself to experience a deep sense of calm and peace.

Summary

  • Savasana, also known as Corpse Pose, is a foundational relaxation pose practiced at the end of a yoga session. It is typically performed lying flat on your back, allowing your body to relax and release tension. Here’s how to practice Savasana:
  • Find a comfortable space: Lie down on a yoga mat or any comfortable surface. Make sure you have enough space to stretch out fully.
  • Lie flat on your back: Extend your legs and let your feet fall open naturally, with your toes pointing outwards. Allow your arms to relax alongside your body, with your palms facing up. Gently tuck your shoulder blades underneath you, allowing your chest to open.
  • Close your eyes: Close your eyes softly, allowing your gaze to turn inward.
  • Relax your body: Starting from your toes, consciously relax each part of your body. Release any tension in your feet, ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hips, abdomen, chest, shoulders, arms, hands, neck, and face. Let go of any gripping or tightness in the muscles.
  • Focus on your breath: Bring your attention to your breath. Notice the natural rhythm of your breath as it flows in and out. Allow your breath to be soft and effortless, without trying to control or manipulate it.
  • Practice awareness and surrender: Maintain a state of gentle awareness, observing any thoughts, sensations, or emotions that arise. Rather than getting caught up in them, simply acknowledge and let them go, returning your focus to the breath and the sensation of relaxation in your body.
  • Stay in Savasana for several minutes: Remain in this state of deep relaxation for at least 5-10 minutes or longer if desired. Allow yourself to completely surrender to the present moment and experience a sense of stillness and rejuvenation.
  • Slowly transition out of Savasana: When you are ready to come out of Savasana, start by gently wiggling your fingers and toes. Deepen your breath, bringing gentle movements back into your body. Roll onto your right side in a fetal position, taking a few moments to rest in this position before slowly coming up to a seated position.
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