Restorative Poses

Adho Mukha Shavasana (Downward Facing Corpse Pose) over a bolster

Downward Facing Corpse Pose over a bolster
Level: All levels

Adho = downward. Mukha = face or mouth. Shava = a corpse.

In this pose, the front of the body is immobilized by its own weight. This means that the breath must expand into the back body. This variation can create freedom in the soft tissue and bones of the back body and works as an excellent preparation for pranayama.

Organizing the Pose

    • You will need two blankets and a bolster. If you do not have a bolster, use an additional two or three blankets instead.
    • Lie forward over the bolster with a blanket under the forehead and a rolled up blanket under the feet. This second blanket will stop you from catching the kneecaps uncomfortably on the floor.
    • Organize yourself comfortable with as much of the trunk on the bolster as possible. All the thighs to drape down to either side.
    • Hold the pose for 3-10 minutes.

Practice Points

    • Soften the buttocks and the back muscles.
    • Allow the back body to be as supple and fluid as possible. Seek out any gripped or held areas and encourage them to release.