Corpse pose is the final pose of a yoga practice session. It symbolizes “a little bit of dying” according to the Ashtanga yoga sage Pattabhi Jois. The reason for corpse pose is to learn how to let go of that which no longer serves us by calming the mind and relaxing the body. When thoughts become neutral and stress absent, we are less apt to suffer from tension-induced ailments such as headaches and high blood pressure.
For some, corpse pose is a highly anticipated part of their yoga practice. For others, it is a time to fidget, think about pending agendas and worry about something useless like whether or not the porch light was turned off.
Need a little extra help in the relaxation department? The following tips will help you master corpse pose, which in turn will help your mind and body be at ease for a calm and peaceful life.
How to Perform
Make yourself as comfortable as possible while lying on your back.
Bring your arms out to the side at about a 45-degree angle from your torso. Let your palms face up and relax your shoulders completely.
Extend both legs, or keep your knees bent with your knees leaning towards one another for support.
Close your eyes and turn your attention to your breath. Let your mind drift and welcome your thoughts simply coming and going. When you release your attachment to any one particular thought, your thoughts become less of a distraction. This is what you want to achieve in corpse pose, because when your mind is calm and relaxed, your body will follow suit.
If you are thinking distressing thoughts, don’t be discouraged. Simply bring your focus back to your breath and concentrate on the physical sensations throughout your body. Let your thoughts go as easily as they came in.
If you are holding tension in any part of your body, bring your awareness to it. By paying attention to and feeling what is going on inside you will gain authority to let those feelings unravel and dissolve. This is difficult because we live in a society that loves to mask pain, but you can’t heal what you can’t feel, so be present and let tension melt.
If you are feeling restless and your thoughts are a jumbled mess, concentrate on a serene image like a sunset or falling leaves. Stay focused on this image. Return to it until you are finally able to relax.
Corpse pose rejuvenates the mind and body, helps lower blood pressure, relieves stress and tension, reduces fatigue and aids in a great night’s sleep.