Over on our Meditation Techniques Facebook page, we’ve been getting lots of requests for meditation techniques for yoga teachers, and in particular, guided meditations to end a yoga class.
As you probably know, Yoga teachers usually direct their students to lie down for a final relaxing pose called Savasana, or Corpse Pose, to end a yoga class. Various meditation methods can be used by yoga teachers to introduce their students to a simple and easy meditation session.
Here’s how Lisa Macey describes her story of being a yoga teacher who integrates meditation techniques and methods into her yoga classes. It’s pretty clear from the article below that she is encouraging other yoga teachers to teach and use meditation at the end of your classes too! Lisa’s article is outstanding. There’s a link below, and I heartily suggest you read the whole article at her site.
“Meditation Techniques For Yoga Teachers”
….. then I began to think, “Wait a minute. I usually meditate after practicing Hatha Yoga because it FEELS SO GOOD then! Wouldn’t it feel good for my students as well?”
Then too, I remembered that, according to Yoga International magazine, Swami Rama (guru of the Himalayan Institute) refused to teach Hatha Yoga unless it included seated meditation. I had enjoyed Meditation Teacher Training at The Expanding Light, so it seems an obvious revelation to me now, but at the time it was an ”AHA!” moment.
Now all my classes (each one is 75 minutes long) end with five minutes of seated meditation. Initially, no one was enthusiastic about meditating at the end of yoga class (except me). Some students groaned, the rest seemed nervous and wary. They didn’t want to mess up their relaxing Savasana, and five minutes seemed like an awfully long time to sit with “nothing to do.” (What has our culture come to?!) But they agreed to try it.
To their amazement, many people enjoyed it right from the start. They discovered how much easier it is to sit tall and relaxed after a physical yoga practice. They like the quiet, the “permission” to be still, and the smooth transition from Savasana to meditation to their “outside” life.
What I Do in My Classes
I don’t give much meditation instruction, just a little each class due to time restrictions, but the effect is cumulative. Sometimes I offer different techniques (Hong-Sau, watching the thoughts rise and fall, watching the breath, etc.). Most students sit cross-legged on the floor, a few sit against a wall, and those with knee issues sit on chairs.
I open with a quote that gets to the heart of meditation from diverse sources such as Yogananda, Alice Walker, Jon Kabat-Zinn, the Tao te Ching, the Torah, Zen Buddhism, and the New Testament. This inclusiveness helps my diverse student population feel accepted and appreciated. (I’ve often wondered if it will get me into hot water with students from fundamentalist traditions, especially since I live in the Deep South, but so far no complaints.)
…. Now we start with pranayama (Full Yogic Breath) and end with five minutes of seated meditation after Savasana. That teeny bit is better than nothing. Original story here.
As the Bhagavad Gita says,
“Even a little practice of meditation will free you from dire fears and colossal sufferings.”
Doctor Kilstein has been practicing and studying yoga for many years now. Because of the many recent requests for meditation techniques for yoga teachers, he has begun to reach out to some of his many teachers to ask them if it’s a good idea for yoga teachers to have guided meditation at the end of the yoga class. So far, the response is overwhelmingly positive.
If you are a yoga teacher, please give us your opinion about what specific meditation techniques for yoga teachers to end their classes you thing would work best.
If we get a lot of comments, I am sure Dr. Kilstein would be happy to create some free downloadable meditation techniques for yoga teachers …. just to get the ball rolling!
Also, if you like the idea of meditation ending your yoga sessions, please click LIKE below.