Do you have any students (or you yourself?) who simply cannot relax in Savasana (Relaxation Pose)? In our culture, it is not unusual to find people who cannot surrender in that position. Not only are we over-stimulated as a population in general, Savasana (Relaxation Pose) is actually stimulating to our nervous system. Savasana (Relaxation Pose) isn’t stimulating like backbends or headstands, but it is stimulating. The back body is stimulating (hence the effect of backbends) and the front body relaxing and surrendering (hence the effect of forward folds). We do Savasana (Relaxation Pose) on our backs to keep us a little alert. Savasana (Relaxation Pose) is supposed to be conscious relaxation, not falling asleep. But when someone already has a very stimulated nervous system (in other words, stressed – not uncommon in our world!) then Savasana (Relaxation Pose) can further stimulate it, rendering relaxation impossible.
If you have a student who needs help relaxing, place her in Asavasana. (Whenever an “A” is placed in front of aSanskrit word, it changes the word to its opposite.) So Asavasana is on your stomach. I prefer to do it over a bolster (as in the photo). You can see me here in the photo demonstrating it. I like to hang my head just a bit over the edge (letting the forehead have a downward angle helping to relax the brain) but if that is uncomfortable for your student, have her rest her head on the bolster, turning it to the other side halfway through the relaxation.
I know students who need this pose by the wiggling they are doing in Savasana (Relaxation Pose). I also periodically mention ask the class if anyone is struggling relaxing and then let them know there is an option. Often people aren’t even aware there are other ways to do the pose.