More than Yoga: The Life in Corpse Pose
By Nancy B. Loughlin
Published in News Press on February 16, 2016
It’s often named Favorite Pose.
Why wouldn’t it be? In Savasana, otherwise known by the macabre moniker “corpse pose,” you’re lying flat on your back with your eyes closed.
This pose closes every yoga class. Your physical body has stretched and escaped its shell; your energy body has been cleansed and aligned. There is no more work to be done, and it’s time to surrender.
No doubt, someone in the room will snore and startle you out of your bliss.
Sleep is not the goal of Savasana, yet it happens.
The challenge of Corpse Pose is to be actively passive.
Try these Savasana tips:
- Lie on your mat. Stretch your legs long, and tuck your shoulder blades under your back. Open your collarbone.
- Resist the foot flop. Many teachers will suggest you allow your feet to fall open. Legs roll open because internal rotators, such as the gluteus medius and maximus, need to be strengthened. Meanwhile, external rotators, including the piriformis and sartorius, need to be stretched.
Don’t yield to the muscular imbalance. Not now.
Instead, as you lie down, rotate your thighs inward, and point your toes directly to the ceiling in a gentle flex. You’ll feel your sacrum release.
Corpse Pose is Mountain Pose on the floor.
To stop your gaze from darting around the room, cover your eyes with a silk eye pillow, scented with lavender. Soften your face. With a fingertip, massage the furrow in the brow. Drop your tongue from the roof of your mouth and slacken your jaw.
To calm your mind’s fluctuations, surrender to deep diaphragmatic breathing. Lay a 25-pound bag of rice over your belly. Lift the bag with every inhale. Drop the bag to the spine with each exhale.
Check your expectations. Epiphanies and eurekas are not Savasana’s goals. This final meditation is spiritual and psychic maintenance of the vessel that is you. When you emerge, you will be a better vessel, open and alive with new expanded consciousness.
Final Tip: Savasana isn’t just for yoga classes. This pose is an invitation to die and be reborn. If your day is a shambles, roll out a mat. Set a meditation timer on your phone for ten minutes. Take Savasana.