Teaching Yoga Classes – Modifications for Shavasana

///Teaching Yoga Classes – Modifications for Shavasana

Teaching Yoga Classes – Modifications for Shavasana

Yoga teacher trainingBy Gopi Rao

How do your students set up for Shavasana?  Most Yoga teacher training courses don’t bother with modifications for such an “easy posture.”  What about students with back problems?  It seems easy enough, but there is a set up procedure for this asana, which is often practiced at the beginning or end of many Hatha Yoga classes. Shavasana is the ultimate relaxation pose, but may have to be modified for Yoga students with lower back problems.

One way to modify this Yoga asana is to elevate the knees. This elevation will bring the lumbar spine into a neutral position. If you feel Shavasana tightens your student’s hamstrings, or causes them discomfort in the knees, place a bolster under both knees. There is also an additional option, if one is having discomfort with the lower back to place a smaller bolster long ways under your lower back.

Sometimes, Paulji has students elevate the knees in a partial recline position or by bringing the lower legs to rest on the seat of an open back chair. You could also modify this posture by using a combination of blankets, bolsters, blocks, or a wall.

How to practice Shavasana without props:

1. Sit in Dandasana. Push the flesh of your

buttocks out to the sides, distinguishing your weight

equally on both buttock bones. Breathe evenly.

2. Bend your knees and bring your heels closer to the

buttocks. Hold the tops of your shins and press your

buttock bones down onto the floor. Check that your

back is straight.

3. To lower your torso toward the floor, place your

forearms and on your elbows. Do not move your feet,

knees or buttocks.

4. Lower your torso to the floor, vertebra by

vertebra, until the back of your head rests on the

floor. Turn your palms to face the ceiling. Close your

eyes, then straighten your legs one by one.

5. Relax your legs, allowing them to drop gently to

the sides. Ensure that your kneecaps drop to the sides

equally. Move your arms away from your torso without

raising your shoulders off the floor, Push your collar

bones out to the sides, Keep your eyes closed and

focus on your breathing. Stay in this posture for 5-7

minutes.

© Copyright 2011 – Gopi Rao / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division

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