The Corpse Pose, Savanasana (shah-VAHS-anna), is a great way to begin or end your yoga session. The pose was designed to relax the mind and body, but in order to relax you must first be tense. This is the process that I follow when doing the Corpse Pose.
Start by laying on your back. Arms resting at your sides, legs spread slightly, and body fully relaxed.
Feet and Legs – Gently lift your right foot an inch above the floor. Tense the leg, hold it for a bit, and then lower it. Now do the same with your left foot.
Hands and Arms – Gently lift your right hand an inch above the floor. Tense the arm, hold it for a bit, and then lower it. Now do the same with your left hand.
Booty and Hips – Clench your buttocks tightly, gently raise your hips off from the floor, the gently lower them back down.
Chest and Back – Tighten up your chest and back and then slowly lift them, while keeping your head and hips firmly on the floor. Hold for a bit and then gently lower them back down.
Shoulders – Tighten your shoulders and pull them into your neck. Now release them back to the floor and bring your arms down alongside your body
Head – Bring your chin in towards your chest. Gently roll your head side to side and find a comfortable position. Now Relax.
Now that you have done the tense part of the Corpse Pose, it is time to do the relaxing part.
Mental Visualization – Using your mind’s eye to visualize your body, work your way from your toes up to your head and visualize each and every part of your body in a fully relaxed state. It helps if you mentally narrate this activity. For example, tell yourself “I relax my toes. My toes are relaxed”. Then move on to your heals, tops of feet, and calves.
The Corpse Pose is a great way to asses how your body feels and to reconnect with your relaxed self.