One of the most important parts of any yoga class comes at the very end. Savasana is often given the short end of the stick, or skipped altogether by modern day yogis in a hurry to get back to the rest of their busy, hectic days. That is unfortunate, since it is essential to any yoga practice - and oftentimes the kids' favorite part (and my husband's)!
During savasana, the students have a unique opportunity to allow their bodies the chance to reset in a physical way. More importantly, the students can allow their minds to reset in a mental and psychological way too. Savasana is a rare time in the day of a child to just be still. They can all cool off... simmer down... and chill out!
Now, I'm chuckling a bit as I write this because as a parent myself, I realize just how frustrating it can be at times to get your kids to slow down and take a deep breath in relaxation. Savasana can be challenging when children have trouble sitting still. Maybe they act silly or laugh or roll around on the mat. But, like everything in wellness, slowing down can be habitual. You can help your kids settle down at home and anywhere else they need it!
In my studio, I try different techniques to help the students get the most out of their time in Savasana. These are also strategies that you can try at home too. Relaxing music. Essential oil aromatherapy. Guided visualization. Even reciting or playing a 'sleep' story. Perhaps a combination of the above. For example, the calming sounds of ocean waves in the background of a guided visualization that puts the students on a peaceful beach scene.
One of the most important lessons that my students have taught me is that youthful yogis are not the same as adult yogis. Sometimes, I have to mix it up for my under 18 kids. Savasana is no exception. For certain kids, 'corpose pose' may not be the resting position that allows them to fully relax and unwind. For the kids yoga teacher (or the parent), it can be important to allow them the chance to discover and settle into their own resting pose of choice, one that may not be on their backs. Instead, give them the choice to lie on their side, hold hands with a friend, or even hug a stuffed animal. Extra pillows can help too - place them under your kids' knees or behind the small of their back if you think they may prefer it.
Quality resting time in Savasana is critical for kids to learn how to help themselves calm down after activity. It will improve their yoga practice and the rest of their lives.