Corpse Pose or Final Relaxation
by Jennifer Arnold

sava: corpse
asana: pose/posture

1. Lie on your mat and extend your legs out long with your heels a little wider than your hips.

2. Take your arms about five to eight inches away from your torso and turn your palms up to the ceiling. Softly draw your shoulders down and away from your ears.

3. Let your eyes close and draw your awareness inward. Scan your body from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head. Make any adjustments necessary to find balance and comfort. Then allow a stillness to come to the body, releasing the desire to move.

4. Let your breath move naturally, at its own rhythm. Feel the sensation of heaviness wash over and through you. Relax the muscles in your legs, your torso, and your arms. Feel as though your muscles are letting go of your bones; your bones drop into the support of the earth. Soften the muscles around your neck and throat. Release the hinge of your jaw and the root of your tongue. Relax the muscles in your cheeks, around your eyes, between your eyebrows, and across your forehead. Let your eyes sink deeper into the eye sockets. Notice a sense of calm move through you.

5. Notice the stillness and the silence that begins to arise from within…Stay for as long as comfortable.

Savasana is about letting go and releasing the physical body. Discomfort in the body can make that very difficult. If you are experiencing any pain or dis-ease, particularly around the low back or knees, use a blanket or bolster to support your knees. If your discomfort is around the neck, use a blanket to support the head. Be mindful with this support though. Make sure that you maintain the natural curve of your neck and that the blanket doesn’t lift the forehead higher than the chin. Ideally, the face is parallel to the ceiling. You might also consider covering your body with a blanket or even using an eye pillow.

Restores the body and mind; engages the parasympathetic nervous system thereby helping to lower blood pressure, improve the digestive, respiratory, and immune systems; lowers overall levels of stress, bringing calmness to the mind and reducing anxiety.

BKS Iyengar writes about Savasana: “By remaining motionless for some time and keeping the mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax. This conscious relaxation invigorates and refreshes both body and mind. But it is much harder to keep the mind than the body still. Therefore, this apparently easy posture in one of the most difficult to master.”