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"And the mind develops the capacity for harmony with thoughts (dharana)." - Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, 2:53

Yoga is not only a collection of complex poses or asanas, but many of its movements are focused on attaining relaxation before commencing or after completing a routine. Relaxation asanas may look easy but they require a level of consciousness needed to release the tension from the muscles. There is more to relaxation than meets the eye.

Savasana or the Corpse Pose is part of the relaxation asanas, typically practised at the beginning or end of a yoga session. Derived from the two sanskrit words shava meaning corpse and asana meaning pose, the goal of this asana is to calm the mind and relax the muscles in the entire body, even though it may tempt you to fall asleep while lying down.

  1. Steps: Correct way to do Savasana (Corpse Pose)
  2. Benefits of Savasana (Corpse Pose)
  3. Precautions for Savasana (Corpse Pose)
  4. Savasana (Corpse Pose) video

To do the Savasana or Corpse Pose correctly, follow these steps:

  • Lie straight on your back on a yoga mat.
  • Keep both arms away from the body (roughly 15 centimetres) and palms facing upwards.
  • Keep the legs slightly away from each other, at about 45 degrees.
  • Your spine should be straight with shoulders touching the ground.
  • Keep your body fully relaxed without any movement.
  • Keep your eyes closed and focus on breathing through your nostrils.
  • Do not let your head lean on either side; keep it straight and relaxed.
  • After four to five minutes, open your eyes and gently release yourself from the pose.

Savasana develops a balance between the mind and the body, and can be performed even after a long day at work before going to sleep. Here are some of its benefits:

  • Savasana helps alleviate psychological factors such as stress, fatigue, depression, tension and anxiety.
  • People who are suffering from sleeping disorders, sleep deprivation or insomnia can benefit from Savasana.
  • Memory and concentration levels can be improved with the repeated practise of Savasana.
  • Practising Savasana releases tension from the muscles and helps in reducing high blood pressure.
  • Savasana repairs tissues and cells in the body and maximises the benefits of a yoga session.
  • Savasana promotes a healthier balance between the body and the mind, and is particularly helpful after performing intense or more dynamic yoga asanas.

While anyone can perform Savasana, here are some precautions you should follow:

  • Try not to move your body while practising Savasana as doing this could defeat the purpose of the asana which is to experience stillness.
  • Do not practice this asana at a place where there are noise or external disturbances.
  • Try not to fall asleep while doing this asana. There is no harm per se if you do, but do make sure you're in a safe place.

Simply closing your eyes at different times of the day has the power to soothe and relax you - all the way from the muscles of the eyes, face, neck, shoulders, back and so on. Regular practice of Savasana can help you regain calmness and agility.

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