Pose of the Month: Corpse Pose

Universally the most anticipated pose of a yoga class is often corpse pose, final resting pose or savasana. While it may seem as though you are preparing for nap in corpse pose you are relaxing in a pose that sets your body for meditation--what the whole practice of yoga is preparing you for. This pose is great to practice during the holidays and times of extra stress.

How to: Corpse Pose

Not as simple as just lying down on the floor there are a few points you should look to for perfect execution. Start on you back with your knees bent. Lift your hips off the floor and lengthen your spine along the floor. Return the hips. Straighten your legs and let your feet fall out naturally to the sides. Slide the shoulders away from your ears and tuck your shoulder blades under you on the floor, create space in the armpits and stretch your arms out long palm side facing up.

Feel release in the head and let go while feeling your head heavy in the floor. Breathe naturally in and out through your nose, filling your throat, chest and belly with every inhale. Be sure to exhale fully.

Relax your eyes into their sockets and focus your eyes on the inside of your forehead between your eyebrows. Feel a sense of stillness and calm and continuously check your body again and again for areas of tension. Let your to-do list and anxieties release with every breath.

Stay for here for five to 30 minutes.

When finished, slowly wiggle your toes and fingers and bend your knees bringing your feet flat. Roll to your right side and curl into fetal position sit up when you feel ready.

Benefits of Corpse Pose

The role of Corpse pose is vast. Done properly and consistently the most noticeable benefits include:

  • Calm and balance for the body
  • Relaxation for high blood pressure
  • Time to take beneficial deep breaths

For the lay person or yogi, performing Savasana is a great opportunity to leave the stress and trauma of life behind. When in a relaxation pose, your body and mind time can decompress, sort and come to terms with the rigors of the day. It will give you amazing opportunity to train for deep breathing and cleanse the body. This is the perfect chance to commit to a practice of meditation which is so vital to well being.

For the athlete, clearly the above benefits are great as well. In addition when I work with professional athletes I take this opportunity to train them to visualize in this pose. Visualization techniques can be the missing puzzle piece for an athlete to go from good to great. It is here that you see your opponent in the ultimate situation for you and the outcome you desire. You envision details of the play, game, uniform and venue. Get as detailed as you can with your thoughts and train your brain as though you already own the title, championship or medal.

Although you should always consult your physician and research a properly trained teacher before starting a yoga practice, there are a few instances where you should avoid this pose. If you have diagnosed depression, you should begin with brief periods or avoid completely.


Gwen Lawrence has been a practicing fitness professional since 1990. Her current practice includes private yoga training, class instruction and her sport-specific Power Yoga for Sports training program www.poweryogaforsports.com. Gwen's unique combination of dance, massage and yoga training experience, coupled with her extensive knowledge of anatomy, nutrition and homeopathy, provide her clients, class participants and athletes with overwhelming benefits. Gwen is the yoga instructor for several New York Yankees baseball players, team yoga instructor for the New York Giants, New York Knicks, New York Red Bulls, and the Pace University baseball team; as well as many youth teams in a variety of sports. She is also the official spokesperson for AFRIN PureSea. Visit her website at www.poweryogaforsports.com

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