Corpse Pose: The Benefits of this Spooky Pose
Enter the perfect yoga pose to focus on during your Halloween flow! This pose that you may not have even considered a “real pose” in yoga is corpse pose.
We’ve all heard it repeatedly from numerous sources: we can enjoy life more when we make time to relax. This pose is the perfect gateway to that peaceful feeling as it works to provide deep healing and restoration.
Believe it or not, many yoga teachers say corpse pose is the most important pose of all.
The secret to this pose is in its name, which helps remind us of our mortality, and inspires us to live each day with purpose and enthusiasm.
Besides the symbolic mini-death and subsequent rebirth this pose gives you at the end of your yoga class, it’s actually the physical benefits that your yoga teacher is begging you to stay for. For many busy-bodies, this pose can really test our patience! All we want to do is pack up our mat and hop into the shower right away.
However, if you can commit to staying in the pose, we guarantee that you will get an after class yoga buzz that will make it all worth it.
What is Corpse Pose Exactly?
Let’s go over some corpse pose basics so you can really experience the full splendor of this pose.
While it may look like you are just laying flat on your back, your body is actually restoring itself. You know the saying, leave the best for last? You get the best corpse pose benefits after a full yoga class because you’re likely too exhausted to think or move. Yogis have included this at the end of their practice to prepare to take their last breath and be at peace when they do so.
Yes, that’s right, this is the only time in yoga where you literally get to do nothing, not even engage one muscle!
Traditionally this pose is called Savasana. “Sava” means corpse, and “asana” means posture.
Despite the name, the pose itself is not morbid. It is meant to allow you to surpass the ego and merge with infinite consciousness.
Looking for even more relaxation? Check out: Yoga Flow for Nighttime: Slow Down & Breathe
The Benefits of Corpse Pose
It’s hard to imagine getting benefits from “doing nothing.” That being said, research has shown that deep relaxation has tremendous benefits for your mind and body. Don’t get up too soon after your yoga class ends.
Here are just a few amazing benefits of this yoga pose:
- Can help reduce chronic pain.
- Can help reduce anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
- Can help lower stress and balance hormones.
- Reduces muscle soreness and workout recovery time.
- Activates the parasympathetic nervous system to allow you to feel safe and calm.
- Improves digestion and strengthens the immune system.
- Can help reduce tension headaches and high blood pressure.
- The release of endorphins provides a peaceful experience, making you a more pleasant version of yourself!
How to Do Corpse Pose
Here are step-by-step instructions for how to get into corpse pose:
- Gently lay onto your back and allow yourself to breathe naturally.
- Separate your legs slightly, letting your ankles fall away from each other.
- Lengthen the back of the neck and relax your face muscles and tongue.
- Turn your palms face up and slightly away from your hips.
- Close your eyes and consciously relax each part of your body from head to toe.
- Feel your body become heavy and imagine melting into the floor.
- Stay in the pose for 7 to 10 minutes.
- When thoughts come up, notice them but do not react to them, letting them pass like a floating cloud.
- When finished, wiggle your toes and fingers to start to wake up your body.
- Roll your wrists and ankles to begin to energize the body.
- Hug your knees to your chest and rest for a few breaths before rolling to one side and resting for a few more breaths.
- Get up very slowly to maintain a relaxed state of mind.
When You Can Use This Pose in a Yoga Practice
No rule says you have to do corpse pose at the end of a class, but it is traditionally done after your more rigorous vinyasa flow or hatha yoga poses.
This pose is also used in restorative yoga, where each pose is used to enter a state of deep relaxation. Some more advanced yogis do this pose to rejuvenate themselves during a longer session (ashtanga yogis practice for 3 hours a day!). More than anything, think of this as the golden ticket to your own internal bliss and make sure if you do yoga, you incorporate this pose.
Looking for your perfect yoga practice? Make sure to check out: The Ultimate Guide to Different Yoga Types
When to Use This Pose in Everyday Life
If you don’t practice yoga, you can still use this pose. Try it at the end of a stressful day if you have time for nothing else. You can also use corpse pose after any workout, not just after yoga.
This pose helps your body slow down from the adrenaline pumping state you were in while working out and allows your mind, body, and soul to essentially calm down.
You can use it to start your day with a calm momentum and use it to release whatever happened at the end of the day. If you get upset or feel fired up about something that happened at work, this pose can help you feel more level headed. You can even use it to rejuvenate yourself after lunch or dinner and aid digestion!
Modifications & Props for Corpse Pose
Some people like using an eye mask to help deepen the relaxation of this yoga pose. You may also wish to cover yourself with a blanket to make sure you don’t get cold from sweat.
Additionally, some people like to roll blankets and place them under the backs of their knees and neck to feel fully supported. You can even incorporate yoga blocks or bolsters into this pose to elevate certain parts of your body that might feel sore after practice as well.
How to Deepen Corpse Pose
If you play relaxing music, you can find a deeper state of relaxation with this pose. Look for music with no lyrics and no beat, so it will help your mind drift into a dream-like state. Try diffusing some essential oils to deepen your relaxation further. Rosemary or lavender are known to be soothing.
You can also try doing corpse pose with your feet up the wall to reverse circulation and reduce pain in the feet.
Challenge yourself to do five minutes of corpse pose for every thirty minutes of yoga or exercise. This helps maintain the balance of yin and yang for optimal well being and will help you be a more balanced person. The benefits of this often-overlooked yoga pose are immense, and your mind, body, and soul will truly thank you.
Now, get your inner yogi on and try corpse pose this Halloween.
Related article: 8 Spooky Yoga Poses To Get You in The Halloween Spirit