Sunday, May 20, 2012

What Should a Yoga Teacher Know About Relaxation Asanas?

yoga instructor training
By Faye Martins

Graduates of yoga teacher training programs should expect to learn many relaxation techniques and the appropriate asanas to match these techniques.  It is true that many classes end in Shavasana, but let’s look at a variety of postures you could guide your students into relaxation with.

Most people who practice yoga begin to see it as a way to total relaxation. The breathing, stretching, and meditating prove to be effective at lightening the spirit and mind, while also exerting the body. Yoga students often incorporate certain yoga poses and breathing techniques into their daily lives to re-energize and release stress. Relaxation techniques are a valuable part of any yoga class. Teachers should use a variety of techniques during class, so students can use them outside of class. There are a number of asanas, or poses, that can aide in relaxation.

Shavasana - Corpse Pose

Corpse pose is commonly used at the end of yoga classes to meditate and relax. It leaves you feeling peaceful, relaxed, and possibly sleepy. Students should lie on their backs, legs slightly apart, arms at their sides. Palms can face up, with the fingers curled. Facial features should remain loose, with the eyes closed and mouth relaxed. Students should focus on their breath, and try not to dwell on any one thought.

Advasana  - Reversed Corpse Pose

Reversed corpse pose is similar to corpse pose, but students lie on their stomachs instead of their backs. Stretch arms up above the head, keeping the palms down. The insides of the elbows will touch the ears. Rest the forehead on the mat, keeping the neck straight.

Jyeshtikasana  - Superior Pose

Superior pose also aides in relaxation and can help relieve spinal cord problems. Students should lie on their stomachs, keeping the legs together, with the forehead resting on the mat. Then, interlace the fingers, bend the elbows, and rest the hands behind the neck.

Matsya Kridasana - Flapping Fish Pose

Flapping Fish pose can relieve a number of ailments, such as constipation and digestive issues, backache, and sciatica. It is also particularly beneficial for pregnant women in the last trimester of pregnancy. Students should begin by lying on their stomachs. Then, move the right leg up, while keeping the left leg straight. Interlock the fingers and rest the right cheek on the hands. Students should try to touch the right knee with the right elbow, but should more importantly find a position that is comfortable.

Makrasana  - Crocodile Pose

Crocodile pose relieves sciatica, pain from a slipped disk, waist pain, or asthma symptoms. Students should lie on their stomachs, and then lift the upper portion of the body up with the elbows firmly planted on the mat. Hands cradle the chin and cheeks for support. The pose can cause tension in the neck and lower back. Relieve the tension by adjusting the elbows.

Truthfully, this is only a small sample of the many relaxation asanas that have been taught to students for thousands of years. Remember that relaxation can be taught at the beginning and end of a Yoga class.  If your classes are always starting and ending in the same way, it’s time to look back into your notes from your original yoga instructor training.  There is more than one way to teach relaxation and this was covered in our foundational training.

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Henry Desouza said...

Thank you very much for giving information about all pose. I don't have that much time to go to yoga at classes. But now I will do it regularly at my home only because of this information.

Anonymous said...

As a teacher, I feel your blog is a continuation of my yoga instructor training. Thanks so much for all the useful tips.