Perfecting relaxation pose

Laura covered up lying on a yoga mat in the perfect relaxation pose

I sometimes reference the princess and the pea when I get into the final relaxation posture of a yoga class — and it’s no joke! Getting this posture perfect helps me soak up all its benefits. When my body is supported and at ease, blissful relaxation follows.

Who couldn’t use a little more bliss?!?

It takes me about five minutes to get really perfectly positioned in relaxation pose (also called corpse). There’s a lot of wiggling and plenty of props, but once things are just right, I lose any need to fidget.

Me getting into my perfect relaxation pose – with plenty of props!

Join me for in-person or online classes through Younion Yoga in Zürich and we can wiggle into perfect relaxation poses together! I teach Yin Yoga on Tuesdays from 20-21:15 Central European time and some Restorative Yoga classes on Fridays from 18-19:30 (next one August 27th!).

And if you’re itching to get into a perfect relaxation pose right now, here are the steps I take. You might find that different props work better for you — keep experimenting until you find what’s right for your body.

Simple supported relaxation pose
aka corpse or savasana

How to do it

  • Gather your props
    • At least four blankets (two for the mat, two to cover you)
    • Two bolsters (or firm pillows)
    • Warm socks
    • A scarf (or eye mask/pillow)
  • Add extra padding to your yoga mat with a folded blanket
    • Smooth out all the wrinkles!
  • Position the larger bolster (or pillow) parallel to the short edge of your mat, approximately where your knees will be when you lie down
  • Place a small bolster (or rolled up towel/blanket) across your mat, about where your ankles will land
  • Put on fuzzy socks
    • Warm feet are essential for full relaxation!
  • Fold a blanket to support your head
    • I like leaving the ends long so I can squish them towards my ears and neck, turning the blanket into a head nest
  • Unfurl the blanket you’ll use to cover your lower body to make it easier to drape over yourself
  • Move onto your back on your mat, re-positioning the bolsters so the larger one supports the back of your knees and the smaller one sits in the curve of your Achilles tendon
  • Settle onto your back, smoothing your clothing and wiggling as needed to get comfy
  • Take off any devices (watches, fitness trackers) and undo hair from a bun or ponytail, leaving the hair elastic on the floor instead of your wrist
  • Cover your lower body with a blanket
  • Keep readjusting to make sure everything’s comfortable
  • Place another blanket over your upper body
  • Slide your hands behind your head and apply slight traction to lengthen the back of your neck, working out any kinks
    • Use your fingertips to massage the back of your scalp if you like
  • Drape a scarf over your eyes to block out the world, or slip on an eye mask/pillow
  • Snuggle your arms under the blankets, allowing them to rest easily by your body
  • Relax your lower jaw
  • Sigh with happiness when you get your relaxation pose perfect

You can hang out hang out in your perfect relaxation posture for as long as it feels comfortable — try for at least five minutes. Do your best to remain alert and conscious. Let your mind focus on your breath, but remember that if you do fall asleep, you probably needed a nap — and that’s totally okay!

Why it’s good

  • Stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, encouraging healing
  • Slows the fight or flight reflex by lowering your resting heart rate and calming your breath — meaning you feel less stressed
  • Helps the unconscious mind process thoughts and emotions
  • Feels really comforting and comfortable

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