This involves lying on one's back with one's legs straight along the floor. The legs are a little apart and relaxed so that
they are rolled outwards slightly. The arms rest on the floor a short distance from one's side and are rolled outwards so that the
palms face mostly upwards. This is a very open position and is considered to be the "classical" pose for
practising relaxation in yoga. However, it is not comfortable for everyone. Those who find this pose too open may wish to try slightly
modifying the arm position by placing their hands on their abdomen.
SUPINE WITH SUPPORT UNDER KNEES.
This is very like the corpse pose, but here some padding (e.g. a rolled-up towel or cushion) is placed under the knees so that the legs
are supported in a slightly bent position and the knees point upwards. Placing a support under the knees takes
potential tension out of the ilio-psoas muscles. Since the ilio-psoas muscles tend to pull the lower back up into a backbend, bending the
knees like this tends to allow the lower back to sink down more. This tends to be good for many with lower back problems and those with
a tendency to have excessive lumbar lordosis.
This involves lying on one's back with one's legs in the crooked position - soles of feet resting on floor and knees
pointing upwards. It can be helpful to angle knees inwards slightly so that they are touching and supporting each other. Arms either
rest on the floor on either side as in corpse pose, or one places hands on the abdomen.
This is good when it is not convenient to place support under the knees. This tends to be good for many with lower back problems
and those with a tendency to have excessive lumbar lordosis.
SEMI-SUPINE WITH CHAIR SUPPORT
This is like semi-supine relaxation but with legs resting on a chair or a stool. Care is needed to ensure that there is enough soft
padding to ensure that no hard surface presses into the legs reducing local circulation. Legs could also be rested on a wall. Some teachers
suggest that the angle at the hips (between the front of the trunk and the front of the thighs) should be greater than 90 degrees to ensure that
circulation is not impeded in the hip region.
With the legs elevated like this, excess tissue fluid and blood - which has a tendency to accumulate in the legs - is
encouraged to drain out of the legs. It is thus good for those with varicose veins and oedema in the legs. It also tends to be good
for many with lower back problems and those with a tendency to have excessive lumbar lordosis. However, with the legs elevated, there
tends to be a higher blood pressure in the trunk and head and so may not feel comfortable (or be good) for those with some forms
cardiovascular problems (especially high blood pressure).