Yoga Teachers: Here's How to Lead a Badass Savasana in 6 Simple Steps
Your class is almost over. Everyone’s sweaty and feeling good. You lead them to the floor. This is the moment for which they’ve been waiting, the moment to which you’ve been spiriting them. But . . . how do you teach Savasana?
The time has come: Savasana.
Should you break out your guitar and sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star? Should you burn sage in both hands while doing an interpretive dance? Should you speak in tongues, placing the palm of your hand over everyone’s face?
Even in Savasana, it’s clear that you’re still expected to lead your class in some way. You’ve got a bunch of helpless, vulnerable bodies lying on the floor, technically playing dead, all around you. And you put them there.
Your energy still leads the class, whether you know it or not. In fact, your energy leads the class during the moments of Savasana more than at any other time. Energetically, you have taken a position of leadership throughout the class.
The energy of your leadership is at its highest peak, rolling at its fastest momentum when it comes time to lay them down on the floor in Corpse Pose. Everyone has been looking at and listening to you and, though their eyes are closed, their energies are still paying attention to yours.
Here Are 6 Steps to Teaching a Badass Savasana
Let’s cover a few bases when it comes to teaching a phenomenal savasana.
1. Silence is okay. Let there be silence.
Teaching your first few Savasanas can feel awkward – especially if you’re someone who teaches a highly physical class. Should you talk? Should you let the silence be what it is? Should you laugh uncontrollably and mention how awkward you feel?
For example, I’ll never forget when I was taking a walk with my boyfriend’s mom. There was a silent moment and, all of a sudden, I started telling her about the time I got attacked by a goose. What the hell? She thought I was so weird for years just because I felt the need to fill the silence with whatever random thought came to my mind.
Let’s not be that person. Let the silence be silence. Even if it’s for a short time. Let your students’ do the work with their own thoughts. Give them the opportunity to bask in nothingness: nothing to do, nothing to listen to, nothing to see. Let them be.
2. But still, you could say something.
After you let the silence speak, you could totally say something. I love finding quotes and either letting the quote speak for itself, or making a tiny self-help speech about how to live out that quote.
Personally, I really love this part. But, a lot of times there is a tendency to carry on until I’ve stopped making sense. Don’t do this. If you are like this too, learn how to get your message across, sit down, and shut your face.
Don’t get to the point where you don’t know what your next word will be. Don’t ramble on until you don’t know where the hell you’re going with this weird speech. But if that happens, and it will, just wrap it up and shut up.
3. Send your students some love.
Savasana is an awesome time to metaphysically shoot stuff from your open heart to theirs. There they are, completely primed for reception of such blessings, and there you are, trying to hold space for them.
Your energy leads the class during the moments of Savasana more than at any other time.
Look at each one of them and bless them in some way. Give them something unspoken. Whether it be through prayer, or literally imagining energy and light soaring from your heart to theirs.
Wish that they be well, wish that they prosper. Wish for their safety. Or let it come to you what they need. Walk slowly from person to person, feel for what they need, and wish that for them. They might not feel this, but then again, they might. What if they felt your love? What if your love was that badass and strong? What if it was the only time of their day that they felt loved at all?
4. Play some music if it feels right.
Please think about and plan what music you are going to play for Savasana. Be intentional with it. When you find a good song for Savasana, you know it.
You could even make a playlist specifically for Savasana and store the songs you hear that would be perfect. They don’t always have to be slow, but they should heighten the vibe of your students.
You have to know your students. You don’t have to know what kind of music they like, but be aware that music can be a distraction for a lot of people. Get as close as you can to universally pleasing sounds and songs. Make it a beautiful song that uplifts, and you’re golden.
5. Be a guide for your students.
You’ve been a guide for your students the entire class, so Savasana is no different. Whether you lead them through a formal meditation or you prompt them every other minute with a reminder, you as a teacher bring them safely into their own minds and bodies.
For a lot of people, being inside your own mind and body can be scary. Remember to be compassionate and kind as you lead Savasana.
Sometimes, a student will look as if she is lost in mad thought with her face tense and her belly hardly moving in shallow breaths. If someone (or everyone) resists, just be patient.
6. Touch them. Or don’t.
Whenever you’re about to touch a student, permission should be given. Whether assisting in a pose or in Savasana. Devise a way to determine whether or not your students want to be assisted.
One way is to instruct the students to put their hands over their hearts if they would like to be assisted.
As far as assisting a Savasana, there are all kinds of things you can do. My favorite is holding the ankles to lift and stretch their legs, then circling their feet in clockwise and then counterclockwise circles. It helps them to be more flat on their backs.
Figure out which assist works best for you and your class. A few pointers about this: if you touch, touch with love (but not too much, you know what I’m saying?). Do it with presence and compassion. Be gentle but strong, and respectful, needless to say.
Teaching Savasana: The Takeaway
Just let them be. Resist the urge to interject yourself into this personal pose. That, it itself, can be powerful – sending loving vibes and bringing them through to a peaceful, joyful class completion.
That’s what Savasana is all about: bringing your students to a beautiful closure, gently and sweetly and slowly.
Comment below if this helped or if you have anything to add to this Savasana talk!
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