Chances are that if you’ve been practicing yoga for a long time, that you’re feeling a little bit confused about one of its most popular phrases.
It’s a phrase that you’ve probably heard uttered at the end of each yoga class that you’ve attended. Savasana, or shavasana is a super relaxing word, and is uttered when you make your corpse pose at the end of a yoga session.
In our language, it literally translates to ‘corpse pose’, and you’re required to lie completely flat and still.
It’s designed to mark the end of the yoga class, and signal to you that it’s time to relax. But, if you’ve been to a few different yoga classes, you’ll have noticed that the instructors all seem to pronounce it differently.
For example, some will call it savasana, whilst others will call it savasana. Somebody has to be wrong, don’t they?
Well, this is why we’ve compiled this handy guide, that will guide you through everything you need to know about this word, including its origins.
To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look.
Is It Pronounced Shavasana Or Savansana?
So, now we can jump into the question at hand, is it pronounced shavasana or savasana.
If you’ve heard both of these uttered during yoga classes, then we’d like to point out that both of them are valid, but neither are quite correct. Allow us to explain.
If you want to dive into phonetics, which means how words are pronounced verbally, then we would have to say that savasana is the correct way to pronounce this popular Buddhist phrase.
But, if you actually spelled it in this manner, then it would indeed, be incorrect.
Savasana, on the other hand, is spelt correctly, but if you were to pronounce it in this way, it would be incorrect. That’s because despite being spelt correctly, it is missing the phonetic intonations that appear in the original Sanskrit.
If you were to take a look at this ancient text, then you would find that it was spelt as ‘śavāsana’. The intonation marks at the top of each letter ‘a’, indicate that there is a pronunciation that needs to be made.
This pronunciation would indeed sound like shavasana.
So, the next time you’re wondering which of these pronunciations is correct, you can safely say that both and neither are quite right.
If you want to spell this Buddhist phrase correctly, make sure that you’re also writing in the phonetic emphasis too.
How To Perform Corpse Pose
So, now that we’ve covered how to properly pronounce this popular yoga pose, we can move on to discuss how you can properly perform it.
Below, we’ve compiled a handy step by step guide that will take you through a full tutorial of how to correctly perform this yoga pose. It’s great for beginners, and is also highly relaxing.
In order to get started with your corpse pose, the first thing that you’re going to need to do is grab a comfortable, padded yoga mat.
After you’ve done this, you’re going to need to sit down in the center of your mat, with your knees fully bent.
You’re then going to need to lean backwards, so that you’re resting all of your weight on your forearms and shoulders.
After you’ve done this, you can then go ahead and take a deep breath in through your chest. As you do this, you’re going to need to go ahead and extend your legs outward, and bring them apart so that they’re not touching one another.
Make sure that your toes are turned out, and they’re pointed in the same direction.
The next step is to make your back touch the ground, but don’t force it too hard so that it’s uncomfortable. You also want to make your pelvic region super narrow.
After you’ve narrowed it sufficiently, you can then slowly begin to raise it up, off of the floor, and tuck in your lower back at the same time.
After you’ve adjusted your back, you can go ahead and adjust your neck region.
You’re going to want to gently take your head, and move it so that it’s straighter, and isn’t packed too rigidly against your neck so that it’s constricted. If it’s easier for you, you can use a small pillow to do this instead.
Stretch your shoulders downward, so that you feel as though everything in this region is relaxed and adequately separated. You’re then going to want to take your arms, and bring them slowly up until they’re pointed towards the sky.
Move your body from side to side, and this will help to relieve some of the tension in your body.
After you’ve done this, then you can go ahead and bring your arms back down, and make sure that they’re not placed solidly against the surface of your body.
The next step in creating the perfect corpse pose is to turn your arms in the direction so that your palms are upward facing.
Then you can truly begin to relax, and focus on all of the muscles and tissues in your face, and feel them all sinking downwards.
Begin to focus on your heart and remain like this for around 3 to 5 minutes. When you’ve finished corpse pose, and you’re feeling super relaxed, make sure that you’re not getting up too quickly.
Take a deep breath in and exhale, and then turn over so that you’re resting on your most comfortable side. Lift your body up with your hands, and keep breathing throughout.
That’s it! You’ve managed to perform your first corpse pose. It’s an incredibly easy and relaxing yoga pose, and is brilliant for those who are just getting started out on their yoga journey.
What Are The Benefits Of Corpse Pose?
Now that we’ve taken a look at how to perform corpse pose properly, we can move on to discuss some of its health benefits. That’s right!
This simple yoga pose has numerous health benefits, and we recommend that you read about them and how they could help you.
Quieting Your Mind
One of the main benefits of corpse pose is that it grants you the opportunity to completely quieten your mind. You can rid yourself of any cares or worries, as in that moment you’re simply being instructed to rest and recuperate.
As you feel yourself sinking into the pose, allow each thought to enter your mind, and view them all as a casual observer. Not attaching to any particular one, but acknowledging them all along the way.
The more you practice yoga, and the more you meditate, the easier it will become to free your mind of thought.
If you’re somebody who’s been partaking in yoga classes for a long time, then you’ll know that things can get super hot and sweaty.
Some more intensive forms of yoga such as hot yoga can be particularly exerting on the body, and cause our muscles to push their limits.
Lying down in corpse pose allows you to listen to your body, and see how everything feels. You may notice a few tender spots here and there, and this can signal what you need to work on in future.
By noticing what feels sore or strained, you can make sure that you’re not pushing yourself too hard with your practice, and ultimately, prevent injury.
Calm Your Nervous System
One of the key benefits of corpse pose is that it’s renowned for calming your nervous system. If you’re somebody who suffers from anxiety, depression, or any other kind of mental health issue, then you might benefit from corpse pose.
It puts you in a deep state of tranquility and relaxation, allowing you to focus your attention in a particular direction.
Instead of getting overwhelmed by a stream of negative thoughts, you’re able to quieten your mind and focus on the present moment. This can result in an enhanced emotional wellbeing.
To sum up, if you want to pronounce śavāsana correctly, then you would say ‘savasana’, which is how it translates in our phonetic alphabet.
However, if you want to spell the word, then make sure to place all of the intonations in the correct place, as this is the proper way to spell it according to the original Sanskrit.
In the English language, this word literally means ‘corpse pose’. Corpse pose is a pose that is conducted at the end of each yoga session. It signals the end of a yoga session, and is an opportunity to relax and rewind after exercise.
There are numerous benefits of corpse pose, the key one being the opportunity to completely quieten your mind, and focus intently on the present moment.
It’s one of the main yoga poses, and is a great one for beginners to get started with.