Final Relaxation or Corpse Pose
Final Relaxation is most often used at the end of a yoga practice but may also be used as a resting pose during our yoga practice or for meditation.
Final Relaxation is just what it sounds like . . . at the end of a good yoga practice, we get to relax . . . flat on our backs, sinking into our mats and the earth below with no thoughts, no worries, cares.
It is helpful to have a teacher walk us through the steps to Final Relaxation, however, we can also walk ourself through the steps with calming music, deep breathing, and mental relaxation.
As we lie on our backs listening to the waves (or the flutes, or birds . . . yoga music can be found on CDs, iTunes and Pandora to name a few) we focus on the sounds we hear.
We relax, letting our bodies sink into our mat as if we are on a sandy beach. Feeling our bodies sink into the sand . . . heavier and heavier . . . the warm sun on our bodies helping us to relax. We hear the waves . . . we hear the small birds as they scurry along the shore.
We listen to our breath as we inhale deeply counting to 5, letting our tummies rise first, then filling our lungs. On the exhale, we count to 5 as we reverse, pushing the air out of our lungs and down through out tummies. Inhale again, filling our tummies then our lungs counting to 5 . . . exhale expressing air from our lungs down to our tummies. Repeat for several breaths.
When we count as we breathe, our minds are focused on the counting and breathing and cannot think of anything else. Our breath focuses our mind and allows it to relax.
Final relaxation following a yoga practice may last anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. It brings our focus back to our bodies, relaxes our mind, and prepares us to take on whatever life brings from a calm perspective.