5 Ways to the Best Massage in Savasana
Since the long weekend is coming up and many of you will be busy with family, travel, fireworks and barbeques, I thought I’d put out something light-hearted. Since I teach small groups and privates, I always give massages to students who want it at the end of class. By now, I must have given hundreds of massages and I’ve noticed a few things that can make the experience even better. So if you are looking to get the best massage possible at the end of your yoga class, here are a few things you can do.
1. Take off your jewelry – If at all possible, the massage I will start the massage from beneath the neck in that spot between the shoulder blades. I give the neck a little rub and gently pull the base of the head up to create some length in the back of the neck. I may even massage the earlobes. If you’re wearing necklaces or earrings, I would have to rub only the upper neck and skip any ear massage I may have given. If you are looking for the deepest experience possible, I would suggest you remove your jewelry before class or before savasana.
2. Keep your long hair away from your neck – The reason for this is similar to #1. If I have to spend time to move your hair to get to your neck, you may get a shorter neck massage. If in the few seconds I have to assess, I find that moving your hair might be disruptive to your relaxation, I won’t move it at all and you will get very little neck rub.
3. Take off your glasses – I always end my savasana massage by lifting the eyebrows away from the nose. If you are wearing glasses, I won’t do this because that would be awkward. Again – if you want the benefit of the whole massage, I suggest your remove your glasses.
4. Keep space behind your head – In order for me to give some upward strokes to your neck, I need space to not only squat behind your body but also pull my whole body back a little bit. That means making sure there is space behind your head, either by sliding down your mat or by turning around if there is an obstruction behind you. Making sure there is space behind your head will ensure that I will be able to leverage my body to give you a better experience.
5. Don’t try to help – Oftentimes, when I get my hands under people’s necks and shoulders, their instinct is to lift up to make it easier for me. While appreciate the sentiment, the weight of your body pressing into my hands actually gives me the ability to create better pressure for your massage. If the massage is too strong, by all means, lift your head (and in fact – stop me and tell me!). But if you like the regular amount of pressure or even desire a little more, then be sure to let your head and neck hang heavily towards the ground.
Bonus: If you are wearing a halter top or bra that presses into the base of your neck, I won’t be moving it out of the way to get to the shoulders. If you want me to rub between your shoulders, best not to wear halter-type clothing to my class and save it for one where there isn’t any massage.
Okay – I realize that was a fluff piece but I know many of you enjoy that moment at the end of our classes. So I hope you found those tips insightful. Enjoy your long weekend and we will get back to the deeper yoga, anatomy and therapeutics next week. Happy Fourth of July!