The Importance of Final Relaxation

Final relaxation, also called Svasana (pronounced shavasana), allows

the body to fully integrate the physical stretches and yoga postures.

I like to end my yoga classes with Svasana, enabling students to feel

a real body/mind sense of wellbeing and peace when they leave.

It is recommended that Svasana last at least 5 minutes, more if time

allows, for the mind and body to completely relax and restore.


Typically, final relaxation is done in ‘Corpse Pose,”  lying comfortably

on your back, heels on the edges of the mat, arms outstretched

a foot or more from the body, and palms facing up with eyes closed.

If this position causes discomfort, make any needed modifications

including bending the knees to rest against each other or simply

rolling onto your side in fetal position.


If thoughts arise, I coach students to notice them, without

attachment or narrative.  Allow thoughts to simply drift away,

and return your focus to the breath. Notice the inhale and

exhale in your minds’ eye.  Often, I  suggest a word or words to

breathe in and out, employ guided visualization, and/or Yoga

Nidra (progressive relaxation of the body) to increase mind/body

relaxation.  The object is to keep intrusive thoughts at bay.  The

outcome is the same:  peace of mind and rested body.  The

restorative impact is similar to sleep, but much less time.