Learn how to give hands-on Savasana assists, and how to touch in Savasana or Corpse Pose so that your student can really relax into the full pose. From feet to head and neck, the right touch can take the student to a deeper experience. Always be gentle!
Hands-on Savasana Assists – Share the Love!
Welcome to Doron Yoga. Savasana – the Corpse Pose – is one of the most important poses in the asana practice. It’s the place where all of our practice, our movement, our breath comes to a place of integration. In Savasana, we’re not doing much. We actually practice complete surrender. We let the body surrender; we let the breath surrender; we let the mind surrender.
Since surrendering is not always easy to do, sometimes there are ways to bring our awareness back to the place of surrender that we’re aiming for in Savasana. That’s where hands-on touch comes in. A little bit of energetic connection from the teacher to the student is helpful.
In Savasana, ideally nobody is touching you. There’s no music, no input, and your consciousness is liberated. Realistically for most students, that’s not really happening. Therefore, when we come and do a Savasana assist, we are going to be really gentle. Try to make it more of an energetic connection rather than an interference.
There are many Savasana assists a teacher can perform, and really with this pose it’s about you being present with the student, and however you touch will be your magic, your moment.
Feet and Ankle Adjustment
Sometimes I like to start with the feet. Just recognize that there are a lot of people who really don’t like to be touched on their feet. Just be conscious of that. I like to create length, so one thing I do is lift up the ankles and do a little wiggle of the legs side to side. Only do this early on in Savasana; do not do it when somebody is deep into the pose.
Sometimes I will take the feet and, with my thumbs, gently press into the arches of the feet to remove any tension that may be in there. When I’m done with that I may point the toes a little bit more with my hands, and then release slowly and carefully.
Arm, Shoulder, and Neck Adjustments
You can also create length in the arms by lifting from underneath the arm/shoulder and helping the shoulder blade rotate under. Then I sometimes like to press the heels of my hands into the heels of the student’s hands, very gently. This is a way to create an energetic connection and share presence with the student.
The most common and probably most important assist is the one I do with the shoulders. A little touch of gently pressing the shoulders down is all it takes.
Another thing that also feels great is to adjust the neck slightly. Take the hands underneath the neck and pull the hands back until you reach the place where the head touches the ground. Pull gently back just to create a little bit of length in the back of the neck.
Finally, and the ones I probably do most, are used to connect with the student’s head area.
One variation is to place the thumbs on the student’s temples. No need to go for the full massage. I simply place the hands there, and maybe do a couple small thumb circles, very gently. If you’re very present, you can feel their pulse, and breathe into it. You can close your eyes and focus on feeding the student good energy. Feel the flow of energy through the connection.
Another variation of the head connection is to bring the thumb above the third eye. You don’t even need to touch their forehead; just hover the thumb above. Feel the connectedness of the energy flowing from you to the student. You can also press very gently on their forehead and even pull slowly from the third eye to the crown chakra on top of the head.
If you know your student and want to give them just a little more relaxation, give them a little head massage with your fingers. Again, early on in Savasana, before they’ve dropped very deep.
Last, sometimes I hover both my cupped hands over the student’s face and focus my energies as they come through my hands. You may feel the energy inside your student’s head. See how it is, and try to stabilize it and calm it.
I like to do a little thank you bow to the student when I’m finished with the adjustments/assists, because I’m grateful that the student showed up to do class with me and allowed me to help in whatever way I can.
When you’re doing hands-on adjustments, especially in Savasana, I would probably not do all of the assists I just showed for one person, unless it is a private class. Really make sure you are very present, you’re doing it with care and gentleness, and remember that one small, simple touch done with presence and gratitude may be all it takes.
Thank you all so much! For hands-on training and more methods for teachers, join us at the Doron Yoga and Zen Center in Guatemala for an in-person Yoga Teacher Training course.