Classic Yoga

The Online Resource of Yoga

Shavasana the corpse pose


Shavasana is an excellent yoga pose for relaxation and rest. Also, it helps to fall asleep quickly. It is one of the lying restorative yoga poses. For this reason, it is practiced when one gets mentally or physically tired. That being so, it is often practiced after the completion of an Asana Session or intermittently in between two postures. Moreover, in the practice of Yoga Nidra, we use Shavasana as the posture

Shavasana Information

Pose NameShavasana
English NameCorpse Pose
Other NamesMrtasana
Dead Body Pose
OriginMedieval Period
Hatha Yoga Texts
TypeLying Poses
Basic Information for Shavasana

Shavasana Meaning

The Sanskrit word Shava means a corpse. Therefore Shavasana means Corpse Pose. When performed, the body looks like a corpse without any movement. For this reason, this pose gets this name.

Shavasana Procedure

Precautions and Contraindications

This posture is the easiest one to perform without any impending risks. Unless your doctor specifically instructed you to avoid a lying position, you may go for it.

Of course, a person in her second and third trimester of pregnancy should avoid this posture, at least if not for a shorter duration, say a couple of minutes. But Why? Here comes the answer.

The back sleep position rests the entire weight of the growing uterus and baby on your back, your intestines, and your vena cava, the main vein that carries blood back to the heart from your lower body. This pressure can aggravate backaches and hemorrhoids and make digestion less efficient, interfere with circulation, and possibly cause hypotension (low blood pressure), which can make you dizzy. Less-than-optimal circulation can also reduce blood flow to the fetus, giving your baby less oxygen and nutrients

Also, if you are an expecting mother with persistent discomfort in your lower back and tailbone area, it is better to avoid Shavasana. In this case, it is better to sleep on your side.

Sleeping on your side will generally eliminate that strain, allowing you to sleep more comfortably. Naturally, you’ll want to sleep on your pain-free side.

What are ways to relieve sciatic pain during pregnancy?

Preparatory Poses

We have already seen that Corpse Pose is the easiest one to perform. Hence, it requires no preparation. Pretty cool. Isn’t it?

Shavasana Steps

Step 1

First, Lie on your back. Keep your arms 10 to 15 cm away from your body placing your palms facing up. Let the finger curl up a little.

Step 2

Secondly, keep your head, torso, and legs in a straight line with a little gap in between the legs.

Step 3

Thirdly, close your eyes. Breathe slowly. Ingrain the feeling that your entire body is relaxing and every organ is free from any pressure.

Step 4

Similarly, instill the feeling that your mind is experiencing peace and harmony. Feel that you are free from all negative feelings like anger, jealousy, pride, hatred, and egoism. Strongly believe that you will not allow these feelings to take away your peace and inner joy. Continue this step until you have the confidence that you are free from negative feelings and you are enjoying peace.

Step 5

Lastly, be aware of your breathing or chant a mantra. Keep your mind not distracted.

Shavasana Duration

As far as one practicing Corpse Pose for relaxation of body and mind, he should take the complete procedure for practice mentioned above for a duration of fifteen to thirty minutes.

When this posture is performed at the end of an Asana session, one should perform this posture for at least 10 to 15 minutes. In this case, Step 4 may be skipped.

If it is performed in between two postures, one may limit the duration to a couple of minutes conveniently skipping Step 4 and Step 5.

Performance Tips

The main objective of this posture is the relaxation of the body or mind or both. If the mind is subject to distraction, this posture does not yield desired results. Therefore, the important point is not to get distracted. A corpse has no reaction to whatever action it is subject to. Cultivation of the mind like a corpse is the very requirement for this practice.

Shavasana Benefits

Stress and Anxiety

The corpse Pose drives out the stress, tension, depression, and fatigue experienced by the nerves, muscles, limbs, and organs of the body. As a result, the body gets relaxed. Once the body experiences relief from the pressures, it creates harmony with the mind. Thus stress and anxiety in the mind are also released. A study on the corpse pose suggests that a person practicing Shavasana can successfully reduce the physiological effects of stress.

Diabetes, Hypertension, and Insomnia

This posture helps to control Diabetes.

As we have already seen, Corpse Pose gives relief from stress and anxiety which are one of the reasons for Hypertension. Hence this posture helps in conditions of Hypertension and related cardiac issues. A study by Sundar S, Agarwal K et al. concludes that with the use of yoga (Shavasana) in the therapy of hypertension, the requirement of anti-hypertensive drugs may be significantly decreased and in some cases may be totally dispensed with and it may be a useful adjunct in the treatment of hypertension. Moreover, it helps to fall asleep quickly.

The findings of various medical studies show that the practice of Corpse Pose provides relief from insomnia and makes the practitioner fall asleep quickly.

The deep meditative state of rest

Corpse Pose gives a deep meditative state of rest. It improves concentration and memory.

Restorative process

After the completion of a fast-paced Asana session or in between two hard-to-perform postures, Shavasana serves as a restorative process that rejuvenates the tired nerves, limbs, and muscles.

Related Posts

Classic Yoga