"MedicalWebPage", "FAQPage"

Get insightful and

helpful tips to treat

your symptoms for FREE

Want an ad free reading experience?

Download PharmEasy App

Banner Image

Register to Avail the Offer

Send OTP

By continuing, you agree with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

Success Banner Image

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Leave your comment here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Benefits of Savasana (Corpse Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more

Introduction: 

Yoga is an excellent exercise to increase strength and flexibility. Yoga is done in a calm and focused manner. It works by stretching that helps our stiff muscles to move better. Yoga can help in building core strength and focus on better body postures. It makes us aware of bending our body or slouching and helps us to adjust our pose. It is not about performing complex poses but habituating our body to simple poses. Yoga represents harmony, togetherness and an overall healing process. It is a connection between mind and soul that teaches the management of all physical, mental and behavioural activity. 

In my opinion, Savasana may help you in developing awareness. As your body unwinds, your mind might become more aware and focused, leading to inner exploration and increased mindfulness.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Although some of the styles, like power yoga and ashtanga (also known as eight limbs of yoga), that help in improving muscle tone do require immense physical effort. Whereas some less rigorous forms of asanas, like hatha yoga, can also provide strength and endurance. Irrespective of practising any yoga style, it is important to perform restorative yoga poses, at the end of the yoga session. Savasana is the commonest pose recommended to relax our body and maintain calmness.1 

Did you know?

  • Savasana can improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia symptoms. Source: ncbi
  • Practicing Savasana regularly can lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. Source: ncbi
  • Savasana can aid in the recovery and healing process for individuals with chronic illnesses. Source: ncbi
  • Savasana can be beneficial for individuals experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Source: ncbi

What is Savasana?  

I recommend avoiding any body movements during your practice to maintain a sense of stillness. Even the smallest motions might disrupt your flow. Additionally, you may enhance your experience by incorporating a personal mantra, repeating it with each inhalation and exhalation.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Savasana is a Sanskrit word  pronounced as shuh-VAHS-ah-nah. 

“Sava” or “shava”  refers to a corpse, while “asana” means posture or pose. Therefore, Savasana is commonly known as the corpse pose. It is a relaxing position practised at the end of the yoga session where the body is kept still in a supine position (lying on the back facing upwards). Although it looks easy, it is a challenging position because the art of relaxation is harder than it seems. Since it is performed after one has practised balancing, twisting and bending throughout the session, lying on the floor still is a tough task.  

Some people tend to sleep as soon as they lie down. However, Savasana or corpse pose is about being conscious and alert while relaxing your body physically. Being aware during corpse pose helps us to release tensions and enter into the relaxed state often termed meditation. Therefore, it is often called “magical asana”.2 

Lying flat on the floor can be an unusual experience for some, using props or variations can help relieve tension and pressure. Some of the variations for Savasana or corpse pose are:2,3 

  1. Keeping legs on a chair:  Elevating legs by keeping them on a chair the helps to improve circulation and release tension, especially after practising yoga, standing or sitting for long or doing intense exercise.  This variation helps in eliminating fatigue from the calf muscles allowing them to rest deeply during the corpse position. 
  2. Supporting the back and head: Placing a bolster or cushion under your head or back can help boost the mood and relieve tension from the shoulders and upper back. This variation can also help in enhancing the natural flow of breath by opening up the chest. 
  3. Supporting Knees: Placing a bolster, rolled blanket, or a yoga mat under the knees can help in relieving tension in the hip, lower back and knees. This variation also helps in providing comfort to the above-mentioned parts of the body. 

Also Read: Benefits of Matsyasana (Fish Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

How to do it? 

Savasana or corpse pose is a relaxing pose and is performed at the end of the yoga session. Therefore, any pose practised before the corpse pose is the preparatory pose and consequently there is no counter pose to this asana. 

Savasana or corpse pose can be achieved in the following steps:2,3 

  • Sit on the floor, keeping your feet on the ground or floor and knees bent. 
  • Lie back extending your legs with toes facing the ceiling. 
  • Keep your head in the centre and do not allow it to fall on either side. 
  • Extend your arms towards the bottom of the mat, resting the back of your hands on the floor. 
  • Make sure to broaden your shoulders and ribs. 
  • Relax your tongue, cheeks, lips, throat and neck. 
  • Let your eyes sink deep and slowly turn them downwards towards your heart. 
  • Stay calm and rest in pose for about 5 minutes. 
  • Exit the pose by exhaling and slowly turning towards the side taking a deep breath. 

To optimize the posture:2,3 

  • Use an eye cover or cloth to block the light and relax the pupil. 
  • Bring ease to your abdomen by placing a pillow, block and folded blankets horizontally on the lower abdomen. 

Playing soothing music in the background can aid in relaxing the mind and body and bring you to a more peaceful and meditative state.  

Do You Know? 

The significance of Savasana was explained by B.S. Iyengar, a renowned yogi and one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world. He is also the founder of Iyengar yoga which focuses on the structural alignment of the body by practising different asanas. He recommends practising at least Savasana daily for as long as one can, if an individual is too busy to complete a full routine every day.  

It is also known as the sacred time to connect with our subconscious. It is deemed as a “corpse” because your body is temporarily inactive and appears dead.  It is an imitation of the dead which brings back a renewed life.4 

Also Read: Benefits of Pawanamuktasana (Gas Release Yoga Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

Benefits of Savasana: 

Savasana offers several benefits to the human body. Some of them are mentioned below: 

1. Benefits of Savasana in Managing Diabetes:  

Savasana or corpse pose may have a potential benefit in managing diabetes. Savasana practice over a period of time can help in decreasing stress, an important pathological aspect of developing diabetes. Stress activates the oxidation process at the lipid membrane level and helps in releasing the oxygen from the tissue creating a situation known as hypoxia. This tissue hypoxia is reported as one of the early events in diabetes. Kumar et al. 2017 conducted a study involving 20 patients with diabetes (increased glucose level) subjected to 40 days of yoga, involving Savasana as one of the postures. The study revealed an increase in insulin levels with a decrease in blood glucose level.5 

2. Benefits of Savasana for Managing Depression:  

Tamilpulavendran and his colleague conducted research in hospitals at Puducherry to assess the effectiveness of Savasana on patients suffering from depression. Thirty patients were selected and assessed by answers in the questionnaire before and after performing Savasana or corpse pose for eight days. He concluded that there were remarkable changes in the stress levels of patients post practising Savasana. This might be due to increase in endorphins by stretching and breathing that decreases the physical exhaustion.6 

3. Benefits of Savasana in Managing Insomnia: 

Savasana or corpse pose may help in promoting quality and deep sleep. It is also called yogic Nidra – a form of deep yogic sleep. An individual suffering from difficulty in initiating or maintaining sleep or both can practice Savasana. It helps in calming the mind and body to provide better sleep at night which may decrease the doctor’s visits or intake of sleeping pills. 2 

4. Benefits of Savasana for Relaxation:  

Savasana or corpse pose is the ultimate resting pose practised after performing active asanas involved in opening the chest or airways, stretching muscles and releasing the tension. Remaining in Savasana pose for more than 15 minutes everyday conditions the body to release stress and relaxes the body by reducing fatigue.2,3 

5. Other benefits of Savasana: 

  • It may help in decreasing the headache. A relaxing position supported by the ground below the body helps in focusing on deep breathing which increases the oxygen flow towards the brain, thus reducing the headache.3 
  • It may help in lowering the high blood pressure due to headache, stress and insomnia. Savasana may have potential benefits in managing the above factors involved in increasing blood pressure.3 
  • It may help in opening the airways by relaxing the diaphragm and allowing the breath to flow freely.2 
  • It may help in improving the sense of physical and emotional well-being, as it deeply refreshes the thoughts keeping the body physically still.2 

Also Read: Benefits of Balasana (Child’s Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

Risks of Exercise 

Savasana or corpse pose is a relaxing pose with minimum contraindication yet it is difficult to master.  Certainly, one can keep in mind the following points in order to avoid discomfort.7 

  • People who are not advised to lay on their back by their doctors or physiotherapist should avoid practising Savasana. 
  • Those who find it difficult to lie flat on the floor can practise Savasana variations to relieve stress.  
  • People with severe acidity should not practise Savasana. During this position, the throat and stomach are at the same level which makes it easy for acids to flow up the oesophagus causing heartburn and discomfort. 
  • Avoid doing Savasana or corpse pose if you are having pain or injury. Pain in any part of the body can make it difficult to relax and meditate. 

Conclusion  

Today’s world is moving at a rapid pace where multi-tasking and speed are seen as desirable qualities. Therefore, it has become more important to reboot yourself to improve functionality and productivity. Hence, Savasana or corpse pose should be practised with or without performing other yoga asanas, to consciously relax and regulate breathing and promote stress reduction in lifestyle.  

Also Read: Benefits of Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Fish Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

Frequently Asked Questions 

What is Savasana (Corpse Pose)? 

Savasana is the most relaxing pose, usually performed at the end of the yoga session. It acts a cool-down posture. It is basically meditation in the supine position, which allows us to be aware of our inner self while our body is physically at rest.2 

What are the benefits of Savasana? 

Savasana or corpse pose can offer several benefits which include managing diabetes, depression, and insomnia. It may also help in lowering blood pressure and decreasing headache.2,3,5,6

Who should avoid Savasana?

A person with severe acidity, injuries or pain in spine, hips and back of thighs of the body who is restricted by their doctors to lay on the back; should avoid Savasana or corpse pose.7 

Why Savasana is a difficult pose? 

In this fast-moving world, it is difficult to assume a resting position even for a short period. Savasana being the most calming pose is difficult to master, especially after doing bending and twisting exercises throughout the yoga session.2 

What should be the duration of Savasana? 

Savasana should be practised after the end of a yoga session from five to twenty minutes depending on the ability of the person to hold the body still.3 

References: 

  1. Taylor, R.B., The Health Benefits of Yoga. [Internet].WebMD.[Updated on 2020, Sep 12; Cited on 2022, Sep 06]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/balance/guide/the-health-benefits-of-yoga .    
  1. Costello, N. The Subtle Struggle of Savasana [Internet]. Yoga journal.[ Updated on 2013 Nov 15, Cited on 2022 Sep 06].  Available from https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/corpse-pose/
  1. Corpse Pose [Internet]. Yoga journal.[Cited on 06-09-2022] Available from: https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/corpse-pose-2/  
  1. Wortman, P. The story of Savasana [Internet]. [Updated on 2018 Feb 20, Cited on 2022 Sep 07]. Available from:https://www.ashtangamelbourne.com.au/post/the-story-of-savasana
  1. Kumar YS, Nishi J. Yoga And Diabetes Mellitus: Recommendations And Benefits-Systematic. International Journal of Ayurvedic & Herbal Medicine. 2017;7:2651-5. http://interscience.org.uk/images/article/v7-i4/3ijahm.pdf
  1. Tamilpulavendran V, Danasu R. A Study to Assess the Effectiveness of Savasana on reduction of Stress among Depression patients admitted in selected hospitals at Puducherry. International Journal of Advances in Nursing Management. 2021 Jul 1;9(3):238-40.Available from:https://ijanm.com/HTML_Papers/International%20Journal%20of%20Advances%20in%20Nursing%20Management__PID__2021-9-3-2.html  
  1. Corpse Pose Contraindications. [Internet]. [Cited on 06-09-2022] Available from: https://www.tummee.com/yoga-poses/corpse pose/contraindications#:~:text=A%20very% 20distracted%20mind%20is,is%20going%20to%20be%20challenging.  

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

Links and product recommendations in the information provided here are advertisements of third-party products available on the website. PharmEasy does not make any representation on the accuracy or suitability of such products/services. Advertisements do not influence the editorial decisions or content. The information in this blog is subject to change without notice. The authors and administrators reserve the right to modify, add, or remove content without notification. It is your responsibility to review this disclaimer regularly for any changes.

7
0

Comments

Leave your comment...



You may also like