How do I perform the corpse pose in yoga?


To perform the torso twist pose, follow these steps:

  1. 1.       In corpse pose it's essential that the body be placed in a neutral position. Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor, and lean back onto your forearms. Lift your pelvis slightly off the floor and, with your hands, push the back of the pelvis toward the tailbone, then return the pelvis to the floor. Inhale and slowly extend the right leg, then the left, pushing through the heels. Release both legs, softening the groins, and see that the legs are angled evenly relative to the mid-line of the torso, and that the feet turn out equally. Narrow the front pelvis and soften (but don't flatten) the lower back.
  2. 2.       With your hands lift the base of the skull away from the back of the neck and release the back of the neck down toward the tailbone. If you have any difficulty doing this, support the back of the head and neck on a folded blanket. Broaden the base of the skull too, and lift the crease of the neck diagonally into the center of the head. Make sure your ears are equidistant from your shoulders.
  3. 3.       Reach your arms toward the ceiling, perpendicular to the floor. Rock slightly from side to side and broaden the back ribs and the shoulder blades away from the spine. Then release the arms to the floor, angled evenly relative to the mid-line of torso. Turn the arms outward and stretch them away from the space between the shoulder blades. Rest the backs of the hands on the floor as close as you comfortably can to the index finger knuckles. Make sure the shoulder blades are resting evenly on the floor. Imagine the lower tips of the shoulder blades are lifting diagonally into your back toward the top of the sternum. From here, spread the collarbones.
  4. 4.       In addition to quieting the physical body in Savasana, it's also necessary to pacify the sense organs. Soften the root of the tongue, the wings of the nose, the channels of the inner ears, and the skin of the forehead, especially around the bridge of the nose between the eyebrows. Let the eyes sink to the back of the head, then turn them downward to gaze at the heart. Release your brain to the back of the head.
This relaxing corpse pose is a great way to practice meditation. The more you practice meditation in this pose, the easier it will become to still the thoughts. As you practice meditation, do not criticize yourself if you cannot quiet the mind, just accept yourself as you are. With time, the practice of meditation becomes more calming and you will feel more rejuvenated.

Lie on your back on a comfortable surface, and stretch your arms and legs out straight. Keep your arms down by your sides, and extend your legs straight from the hips. Your feet should be about twelve inches apart, with both feet turned out slightly to keep the feet, ankles, and legs relaxed. With palms facing upward, keep the arms eight to ten inches from the body. Lengthen the back on the floor and feel all muscles stretching and releasing. Notice your shoulder blades and hips, and adjust the body until you feel balanced on both the left and right sides of the body. Scan your body and consciously relax every muscle group, including the throat, face, and eye muscles. Continue this scanning as you lie down and relax, and become aware of areas in which you might hold chronic tension. As you lie there, feel the breath take you into a deeper relaxed state.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.