Savasana or Corpse Pose is an underused and uber-beneficial posture for everyone. This pose is used at the end of most classes and it aids the body in processing all of the information of movements it just experienced.
Corpse Pose is accessible to everyone, thus there is no excuse to not practice it. Often times we want to rest or relax but we do other activities or “relax” but with stimulation, like reading a book. But reading or watching TV is not giving the body rest and so even after “relaxing” we still feel tired or sluggish and unmotivated.
People who prefer lazing in a hammock instead of running the marathon or who take a nap in the middle of the day instead of playing squash have a better chance of living into old age. -Peter Axt
Some students feel Savasana is a waste of time that could be packed with more yoga poses. Most find that they need it more than they realize.
Without an appropriate time in Savasana the body is not given a chance to soak in the benefits of the practice. It’s like baking a cake but pulling it out of the oven halfway through baking. You end up with a half-bakes mess. It is recommended that for an hour class at least ten minutes of resting in Savasana. For longer classes the time in rest is increased.
How to do Savasana:
There are many plush ways of resting but the basic idea is to lay on your mat with your spine connected to the ground. You want to relax your legs by spreading them to the corners of your mat or wider than hip with so your thighs are able to roll outward away from each other and release tension. Next you want to help your shoulders relax so you have them lay long by your side (palms up for energy, palms down for grounding) and take them about 30 degrees away from the side-body. You know when you have them at the right angle when your shoulders feel flush with the ground and are able to release.
There are small adjustments that you or your teacher can help you with in order to settle into Savasana more comfortably. Some aids are having a rolled blanket under your knees to help keep the lower back grounded, or a pillow under the head to tilt the chin down so the forehead is higher, or something as simple as being covered with a blanket.
Benefits of Savasana:
- Relaxes the body.
- Calms the brain, helps relieve stress, and mild depression.
- Decreases beta brain waves and shifts to slower brain waves.
- Reduces headaches.
- Releases muscular tension & reduces fatigue.
- Relaxes your central nervous system.
- Helps to lower blood pressure and heart rate.
- Reduces insomnia and helps improve your sleep.
- Enhances immune response.
- Helps with chronic pain.