I had a surprise on Sunday when I went to teach my final 5-7 year old class… no one showed up! It was Father’s Day so I’m sure all my little yogis were home snuggling with their dads. I had the blessing of a free Sunday morning to take a class for a change and Karyn’s Sunday class is one of my favorites. The class was mat to mat packed and, ironically, the women far outnumbered the men. I guess moms felt that dads needed one-on-one time with the kids on Father’s Day morning! Class started a bit late. We had just transitioned to the floor after an hour and five minutes with savasana getting closer when my life interfered with my yoga. The guilt I started to feel about leaving my husband (especially after he just got back into town late the night before from the most horrendous week of his life) made it impossible for me to stay for savasana—the icing on top of the cake in yoga. After working so hard on my mat—erasing the stress of the week and trying to ignore the dripping sweat from the man doing yoga inches away making annoying Darth Vadar breathing sounds—all I wanted to do was to rest in corpse pose and feel my muscles relax fully and find that feeling of rejuvenation. But it didn’t happen. I got up and left my oasis of peace behind.

Kids, too, LOVE savasana. Some may have trouble, as adults do, succumbing to the power of savasana but once they do, it is craved and something to which they look forward. I had a boy in my 5-7 year old class who would beg for savasana as soon as he entered the studio!

I have rituals that I use in class for savasana. I use the “Savansana Song” by the Bingo Kids to get the children to start preparing their minds and bodies for rest. I dim the lights and have soothing music on in the background. I either do a series of asanas that promotes sleep (see below) or I use scripts to ease the class into relaxation. Each child has a breathing buddy (little stuffed animal) that I put on bellies to help them focus on their breath rising and falling. Some children like to bring their own from home. I have found a couple of wonderful books with different relaxation scripts (such as Ready Set R.E.L.A.X or Relax Kids: Aladdin’s Magic Carpet: And other Fairy Tale Meditations for Princesses and Superheroes) with affirmations that I use. I have also had the kids squeeze and relax different body parts from their feet to their heads to release tension and promote relaxation. I come around with wonderful smelling aromatherapy oil to dab on inner wrists once everyone is settled. After three to five minutes, I begin to end savasana and have the kids come back into their breath and bodies by wiggling toes and fingers. Some kids don’t want to wake up while other kids jump up instantly to help me with the lights as their little bodies or minds are eager to move again—rested and refreshed!

Poses that promote sleep:

child’s pose
seated forward bend
seated twists (both sides)
fish pose
legs up the wall
lying twist
goddess pose