Corpse Pose

Definition - What does Corpse Pose mean?

Corpse pose is a restorative yoga posture usually included near the end of a yoga session. The body lies face up with the legs comfortably spread and the arms relaxed alongside the body. Palms can be facing up or down, whichever is most comfortable.

This is an important pose in yoga for recovering from the sequence of postures that challenge the body and mind, allowing the body to both relax and prepare for meditation, which typically follows corpse pose.

Corpse pose is also known by its Sanskrit name, shavasana.

Yogapedia explains Corpse Pose

Some of the benefits of this pose include:

  • Overall relaxation of the body, reducing stress and fatigue
  • Calming of the mind
  • Reduction in the frequency and severity of headaches
  • Relief from insomnia
  • Lowering of blood pressure

Although typically included at the end of a yoga session, corpse pose can also be used to calm the body at the beginning or for resting in the middle of a sequence of postures.

If the traditional corpse position is uncomfortable, the individual may bolster the head and/or the legs with a support such as a blanket. Anyone who suffers from a back injury should practice the pose with bent knees, using a support under the knees or placing the legs on the seat of a chair. Pregnant women should raise the head and chest with a bolster or several folded blankets.

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