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Carly Cummings, cofounder of Hyp-Yoga, combines the benefits of yoga and hypnosis to create a more profound Savasana.
Employing the use of visualization and commands, Hyp-Yoga helps students change their mental state, bringing about focus, clarity, and calm. A certified hypnotherapist and yoga instructor, Cummings recommends using visualization to take students to a place that you can describe in complete sensory detail. A more traditional way to help students in Savasana is to use physical adjustments to release tension.
Sayers, who is also a trained Thai Yoga therapist, suggests starting with adjustments to the feet, since they’re the lowest point of circulation in the body. Apply pressure to the five plantar lines that run from the top of the heel to each toe mound.
To determine other areas where students are holding tension, observe them lying on the floor. Wong believes the timing of such adjustments should be limited only to the beginning of Savasana.
Given the current level of stress in our society, most students welcome a deeper form of Savasana, but both adjustments and hypnosis can seem daunting to even the most seasoned instructors. Wong recommends creating a study group with fellow yogis to teach each other proper Savasana adjustments.
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With age, stiffness sets in as the spine compresses and we lose joint mobility and balance, as well as muscle and bone mass. There are specific and suitable forms of yoga across the lifespan, according to Larry Payne, PhD, a back pain expert who created Prime of Life Yoga aimed at people in their 40s to 70s.
Here are some key things for teachers to focus on whether they’re leading an entire class of older students or trying to integrate a handful of 50-plus students into a younger class dynamic. Having some idea of typical changes and health concerns and how that affects movement and strength can help a teacher gauge how much to challenge a student, what to modify, and essentially how to help students benefit most from yoga. Payne recommends reminding students of the intention of the pose to help them understand that the benefit is the most important element. Don’t judge a student by their age, but by their abilities and limitations at any age. Practice in a way that is appropriate and healing Never force and avoid poses that bear weight directly on the neck and head.


YJ's Business of Yoga experts have tricks for growing your email list to stay connected with your community. Communities can develop by simply having a studio or teaching in an ideal location, but a strong one takes more than that. This five-part series explores the insight "American Sniper" offers into the yoga of war, the mind of a veteran, and the practices crucial to finding the next mission. Pairing a few hypnotic techniques with a traditional hands-on adjustment can amplify the results of a focused, restful Savasana. Unlike the sensationalized hypnosis portrayed in movies, therapeutic hypnosis allows participants to maintain their free will and control over their mind and behaviors. This ensures that students remain fully aware by using the whole mind—the conscious or every day mind as well as the often hidden subconscious.
If all goes well is, your students will notice the experiential difference of a deeper state of awareness.
Jen Sayers, a Kripalu Yoga instructor in Park City, Utah, suggests being clear with students about why you provide adjustments. Stimulation and pressure break up and release toxins that collect in the energy channels of the feet.
In order to minimize distraction, allow students to settle onto their backs in Savasana, then have them raise their hands if they don’t want to be touched. Our Business of Yoga experts have tips for making the process more authentic and rewarding. Some come to recover from the assaults of years of intense exercise, while others hope to dodge heart disease and osteoporosis and the general rigidity and weakness that can set in with age. He identifies three age groups: the young and restless (teens to 45), prime of life or midlifers (40 to 75), and older adults (75-plus).
Be sure students with a rounded upper back have adequate support under the head, so their head is level,” says Francina. The challenge, adds Richard Rosen, director of the Piedmont Yoga Studio in Oakland, California, and author of Yoga for 50+, is convincing people that it’s something they need to do. For example, recommend that students practice Supported Leg Up the Wall Pose at least 10 minutes a day. People with kyphosis and others at risk for osteoporosis (bone fractures, weakened vertebrae) should practice weight-bearing inverted poses, such as Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana) and Shoulderstand (Salamba Sarvangasana), only under the guidance of an experienced instructor and after they build strength in upper-body strengthening poses, such as Downward and Upward Facing Dog, and Plank.
When teaching more difficult poses, make it crystal clear that students can repeat the basic pose that usually precedes the more challenging one, and that using props is perfectly fine.
Lengthen the spine and open the chest in all categories of poses, including forward bends, twists and backbends.


Proponents of Hyp-Yoga believe it has the power to bring students into a trance-like state of heightened focus that is similar to states of consciousness during deep levels of meditation. Another technique, rotating the feet inward by rolling them on the heels, further opens the hips.
Hold your student’s relaxed arm at the elbow and use your opposite hand to reach underneath the scapula and gently bring it in and down. While there are classes devoted to older bodies, in many cases, older students are showing up to general classes.
Too much sitting and years of bad posture commonly result in neck and back problems by midlife. Rosen says it’s particularly hard for many older men and seasoned yogis to slow down, or not try to replicate what someone younger and more adept in the class is doing. If the hamstrings are tight, it’s difficult to bend sideways or forward without rounding and shortening the spine. This increased ability to concentrate is the result of elevated levels of gamma brain waves. Alternatively, you can use the Kripalu method, in which students place a star at the top of their mat if they prefer not to be adjusted. Sometimes, the assaults of time can happen even in very active people, such as in the case of osteoarthritis in older runners.
Whereas the emphasis for the younger yogi is building and challenging the body, by midlife, the focus is on maintaining optimum health including injury prevention through yoga lifestyle (e.g.
Of course, you can’t assume everyone has a bad back or arthritic knees because of a few gray hairs, but you job is to figure out which students do need extra help. Using a wall or chair can help someone bend from the hip joint while keeping length in the spine. It’s less about making big adjustments and more about shifting the position of the head.
A soothing voice interrupted my mental chatter and guided me to count backward from 10 to 1. According to a study by the Boston University School of Medicine, experienced yoga practitioners can help elevate gamma brain waves during a yoga session, and Hyp-Yoga techniques specifically trigger that state. Francina explains that yoga counters the effects of gravity by lengthening the spine, opening the posture (and chest) and moving each joint through its full range of movement.



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