Firstly, what is Savasana? Savasana—also known as the Corpse Pose—is the final relaxation posture of your yoga practice. It’s a posture where the body wants to be as comfortable as possible to allow yourself to find a deep relaxation and rest.
To ensure that you’re in a position that’s most supportive for your body it can be helpful to have a few variations at your fingertips.
In this blog we’ll be exploring five ways how to do Savasana. Each useful to be aware of depending on how your body feels on a particular day and what type of props you might have available.
Want to watch my video tutorial and try out these five ways how to do Savasana? Practice along with my video: 5 ways how to do Savasana or Corpse Pose.
What is Savasana in Yoga?
The most common way to do Savasana is without any props or modifications. You simply come to lie down on your back, letting your feet fall open to the side and palms facing upwards.
You want to allow your entire body to relax and be heavy. Particularly letting the weight of your head, shoulders, buttocks and feet drop down towards the ground.
You can allow your breathing to be easy and stop using any breathing techniques that you may have been using in the rest of your yoga practice. And do your best to keep your focus and awareness on your body and breath.
What are the benefits of Savasana?
One of the biggest benefits of Savasana is that we allow ourselves to really relax and do nothing but simply be present with ourselves. This is something that the majority of us rarely get the opportunity to do throughout our day.
If we’ve done a physical yoga practice or breathing technique before it allows ourself to rest and feel the physical, mental and emotional effects of our practice.
Savasana is also a great gateway for us to practice meditation. It helps us start to focus on the more subtle elements of our body and breath while being in complete stillness.
Why is Savasana the hardest pose?
Just like in your yoga practice, you want to try and keep your mind focused on the sensations in your body and breath.
Savasana is often known as the hardest yoga pose because when the body is still and relaxed it can make it much more challenging to keep our focus on our body and breath (vs. when we’re practicing a more complex yoga posture).
It is very normal however to find that while you’re lying in Savasana that your mind either becomes very active or very sleepy. Both of which make it hard for us to keep our awareness on our body and breath.
My mind feels too busy
It might be that you find it hard to physically and mentally relax. In this case you might notice that once you come to lie in Savasana that your mind is very busy. Perhaps you find yourself getting lost in thoughts and feelings.
It then might take you a long time for you to notice your mind has been elsewhere (which could be busy thinking, planning, worrying or analyzing) before you focus back in again on your body and breath.
I keep falling asleep
The other challenge could be that as soon as you get really comfortable you start to feel overwhelming feelings of tiredness. And one moment you’re relaxing in Savasana and the next you’re finding yourself getting extremely sleepy and maybe even falling asleep.
In both cases, it’s worth remembering that this is your experience in Savasana for that day and it’s therefore ok! But you can still try your best if you notice the mind becoming active or sleepy to see if you can bring your awareness gently back to your body and breath.
Other variations of Savasana
Savasana with bolster under your knees
Placing a bolster or cushion under your knees can be a great variation of Savasana.
It’s particularly useful if your lower back feels a little sore because when you have the bolster under the knees it will allow your lower back to ground more into your mat. It can also help your legs to relax and feel comforting to have the support under your knees.
Savasana with knees bent
If you don’t have any props available but still want to find more comfort in your lower back you can try this version of Savasana with bent knees.
By bringing your feet a bit wider than your hips (about mat width apart) and dropping your knees in together you can find a position where your legs are relaxed and lower back is heavy.
Savasana with blanket under your head
You want your head and neck to feel completely comfortable and supported in Savasana. A good rule of thumb is that the back of your neck feels long rather than arched.
By placing a folded blanket, towel or thin cushion under your neck it can help give your neck the space it needs for your head to relax and neck to be free of tension.
Savasana with legs up the wall
Savasana with legs up the wall is one of my favorite variations. This is a great option if your legs are feeling tired, you’ve had a long day or if you’re back is a bit sore.
You can come close to the wall and shuffle your hips so that they are close to the wall but not touching. Allow your legs to fall a little open with your heels resting on the wall so that your legs can relax completely.
When can you practice Savasana?
The most common time to practice Savasana is right at the end of your yoga practice. But you can of course always choose to do a shorter yoga practice of only Savasana! This can be a great option if you’re feeling tired, run down or are short on time.
Feel free to experiment with these different variations of Savasana. That way you’ll have different options available to use when and as you need them.
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