Corpse pose — or savasana, in Sanskrit — is the last pose in just about every yoga class, and oftentimes, it's the most blissful, meditative, and joyfully anticipated pose, as well. Surrendering to a luxurious sense of calm and reassurance in this relaxing asana helps you unwind after the more physically challenging yoga poses you move through during your practice. And while you can just lie there in stillness as your body and mind drift into their most tranquil state, there are a few tips on how to get more out of savasana that every yogi should have in their back pocket.
Though savasana might look wildly simple and low-key kind of lazy to an outsider (I mean, come on, you're just lying there; how hard can it possibly be?), it's actually a highly intricate and meditative pose, with many layers to it — specifically, layers of the mind, which must be peeled back and observed without judgment throughout your yoga practice, but especially while you're lying in corpse pose.
If you attend yoga classes regularly, you've probably noticed that your final savasana is a bit better and more restorative on some days, and a bit more difficult to relax into on others.
This is largely due to the fact that, on some days, you might have more mental chatter buzzing around in your brain that simply will not stop, which can definitely make it harder to truly let yourself melt into the present moment.
To make the most of your savasana, even on days when your brain feels clouded with nothing but to-do lists and post-yoga plans, try to observe all of the thoughts swirling around in your mind, make space for them, and then slowly let them go. Picture them as real, tangible, wispy clouds in your mind, that are literally drifting out of the crown of your head with each breath you take.
While you're lying in savasana, it's also important to let go of the physical practice you just took part in. You might think that that one advanced pose you couldn't get the hang of was the most challenging part of your whole practice, but you'll find that actually making the attempt to stop judging yourself for anything you did "wrong" in your yoga practice, or even throughout your day in general, is a much bigger challenge.
This is why savasana is so important and, at the same time, incredibly difficult. However, if you can slowly allow your thoughts to melt away, bit by bit, you'll be able to bask in the magical meditative experience that is corpse pose.
While you're resting in savasana, try scanning your body in your mind's eye, starting from your toes, and slowly moving up toward the crown of your head.
As you mentally arrive at each part of your body, notice how you feel. Recognize the sensations in each area of your body, and then let them go, completely relaxing and releasing every ounce of tension. Your entire body should feel heavy and relaxed into your mat. With the lack of physical tension, mental tension will slowly begin to cease, as well.
If you can't quite get comfortable in savasana, don't be afraid to bring props onto your mat to make your experience that much cozier and more pleasant. You can include a bolster beneath your knees, a blanket underneath your head, an eye mask to block out any light, or a combination of all three to make your meditative pose as enjoyable and tranquil as it can possibly be.
Plus, if you like to use your other bodily senses to help you melt into that blissful savasana, you can always try aromatherapy to aid the process of emptying your mind. Try rubbing a couple of drops of lavender essential oil onto your temples, which will allow you to relax even more deeply into your corpse pose.
With these tips, you'll soon be able to fully immerse yourself in stillness and presence when it comes time to drift into your next savasana. Namaste!