Shava-asana The Corpse Pose
Translation: The Sanskrit word shava means corpse hence this is the
Corpse. The shava-asana is also known as the mrta-asana.
1. Lie flat on your back with your legs together but not touching, and your arms close to the body
with the palms facing up.
2. Keep your eyes gently closed with the facial muscles relaxed and breath deeply and slowly
through the nostrils.
3. Starting at the top of the head and working your way down to the feet, bring your attention to
each part of your body, consciously relaxing it before proceeding on to the next.
4. Remain in the shava-asana for between 3 and 5 minutes or longer. If you become sleepy while in
the shava-asana begin to breath a bit faster and deeper.
While many consider this a simple posture at first, its simplicity eventually proves to be deceiving. The
goal of the shava-asana is for the body and mind to be perfectly still and relaxed. Not only should the
body be motionless and at ease, but the mind as well should be quiet, like the surface of a still lake. The
result will be a deep and stable relaxation that will extend into your meditation or be felt through the
activities of your daily circumstances.
It goes without saying that the shava-asana will take some time to perfect. You will find the simple
exercise of focusing your attention on each part of your body and consciously directing the breath there to
be a great help with this posture.
There are two common obstacles that can prevent you from fully benefitting from this posture: sleepiness
and a restless mind. If find yourself getting drowsey while in the shava-asana increase the rate and depth
of your breathing. If your mind is restless or wondering focus your attention on all of the bodily senations
you’re experiencing. Bring your mind to the sensation of the floor beneath you or on the rhythm of your
While practing your Yoga-asana routine you should always begin and end each session with the shavaasana.
We recommend that you begin your period of yoga-asana practice with at least 3-5 minutes of shavaasana.
Return to it periodically throught your posture session to relax and rejuvinate the body/mind and
then conclude your session with at least 3-5 minutes more