Corpse Pose

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This pose (Figure 2.49) should always be the last pose of each yoga practice. It has several benefits. It is a total relaxation pose. This means that it allows the body and mind to totally relax and let go. The other important aspect of this pose is that it allows the body and the nervous systems to absorb all the benefits of the previous poses. Corpse Pose gives the body a chance to pause between the yoga practice and reentering the regular world and to rest with no pressures or worries. Because the world may be such a stressful, uncertain, and uncontrollable place for a child with an ASD, Corpse Pose may provide a brief respite from pressures.

Your child should envision his body sinking into the ground with all physical and emotional tension seeping out of his body. The breath should be deep and smooth and he may think about how his breath feels entering and leaving his body while his body is still.

This pose may be held for two to fifteen minutes. Although children may like the idea that they do not have to "do" anything in this pose, they usually find that it is difficult to be still. Your child may want to finish yoga practice already and play. However, this pose is important because it will help him experience what it feels like to stop moving and to take a break without distractions. A timer set for one minute during this pose is suggested to show him when the session will end.

Eye bags are particularly useful for this pose. They block out visual distractions and stimulation and increase the feeling ofcalm. Place the eye bag over your child's eyes once he has settled into this pose.

1. Lay on your mat on your back with your arms by your side. Your arms should be slightly out from the sides of your body.

2. Your legs should be outstretched and relaxed. Have the length of about one foot between your feet.

3. Keep your feet relaxed. They should not be either pointed or flexed, but instead remain in a neutral position.

4. Your head should be relaxed, but aligned with the spine.

5. Your torso and spine should be in a straight line on the floor.

6. Take several deep breaths in this position and allow your body to release and relax.

7. Next, tense and release each part of your body to experience a sense of deep relaxation and enjoyment. Start at your feet and tense the muscles of your feet and toes. Hold for a moment then relax.

8. Continue this exercise by then tensing and releasing the following: your legs and thighs, your abdomen and chest, your arms, your hands and fingers, and finally your face and neck.

9. After you are finished tensing and releasing the various parts of your body, tense and release the entire body and then lay quietly for about five minutes to rest and rejuvenate.

10. After you are finished with Corpse Pose, stand up from your mat. You are now ready to face the rest of the day with vigor, calmness, and energy!

Figure 2.49 Corpse Pose

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