An Easy Guide to Shavasana, or Corpse Pose

Shavasana, or Corpse Pose, might look incredibly simple – but it’s a yoga pose that requires total relaxation, therefore it’s a beginners’ pose that, in reality, we all struggle to master.

Watch a clip

Shavasana is both the easiest and the hardest of yoga poses; it may look easy, your body may be still, but where is your mind? 

Remember yoga is 'chitta vritti nirodha' - yoga is the cessation of the whirrings of the mind. No thinking about what's for dinner - Samadhi is not a pudding! 

Done correctly, this yoga pose will leave your mind calm and your body relaxed but energised, certainly not sleepy. 


Watch a clip for this yoga pose 


How to do Shavasana, or Corpse Pose, in easy steps  

Step 1:

Lie flat on your back, neck away from your shoulders, chin tucked in. Legs are extended and slightly turned outward, hands a little away from the body, palms up.

Step 2:

Close your eyes, turn your attention inwards and start to breathe deeply. Spend a bit of time checking in with each part of your body, making sure each element is relaxed.

Step 3:

Let the hips sink into the ground and soften the groins and lower back.

Step 4:

Let the shoulder blades sink evenly down into the ground and spread the collarbones.

Step 5:

Lengthen the neck and relax the head into the floor.

Step 6:

Relax your legs and arms, allowing them to become heavy.

Step 7:

Relax and sink your groins, pelvis, lower back and chest into the floor.

Step 8:

Soften your tongue, jaw, the skin of the forehead. Introduce a bit of space between the teeth and relax the tongue.

Step 9:

Allow the eyes to sink into their sockets.

Step 10:

Allow the breath to become smooth and slow.

Step 11:

Relax for at least five minutes.

Step 12:

To release, exhale and slowly bring your knees into the chest. Roll softly to the right side, supporting your head on your right hand on the floor. Rest here for a moment.

Step 13:

Exhaling again, push your hands into the floor to slowly lift the upper body. Sit up and take a moment to feel what it is to be totally relaxed.

Image: f9photos/dollar photo club

Yoga pose category:  Lying face up

Level: 1

Shavasana, or Corpse Pose, is supposed to be one of those easy yoga poses for beginners, but it’s part of the human condition to struggle to focus on nothing and learn to let go – it’s human nature.  


Sanskrit words meaning: 

Sava – corpse 

Asana – pose 


Yoga Pose Health benefits

Like all yoga poses, Shavasana has multiple health benefits. Use it to help with the following health conditions: 



Low blood pressure 


Yoga Pose Contraindications

Don’t practice Shavasana if you have the following health conditions: 

Back injury

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Lucy Edge 

is a yoga advocate and writer with three yoga books to her name, including the beloved travel memoir Yoga School Dropout. She writes regularly for the national press, has authored over 150 guides to types of yoga and yoga poses, discovered nearly 250 proven health benefits of yoga through her painstaking classification of 300 clinical studies, and collected more than 500 personal testimonials to the real life benefits of yoga. She is also the creator of our yoga shop – YogaClicks.Store – handpicking yoga brands that are beautifully made by yogis committed to environmental and social sustainability.