“During this savasana I am going to come around for some acupressure, if you don’t want your feet touched please let me know now…” But I don’t know why the hell anyone would ever resist having their feet rubbed. Not to mention while also being guided through a meditation in natures ambiance.
If only you could see the looks I get.. “you’re gonna touch my what…?” yep, your feet. And you’ll love it. If you don’t want them touched then speak up, but I bet you’ll regret it if you do, watching everyone else zen out while you try not to think about anything yet everything is distracting. Savasana is already divine in itself, like adult nap time with a bunch of loving energy flowing around you and positive affirmations being told to you by a soft almost transcendent voice. Now imagine adding another sensation, the touch, the transfer of energy to that already blissful feeling. It’s pure magic.
I remember the first time someone touched my foot in a savasana.
I flinched too. After tensing up and almost kicking my teacher in the face I realized how relieving it felt, and how my muscles could finally actually relax (even though I thought they already were). I thought to myself “Yup, this will be my little trick” and seconds later went into a trance. Even though a teacher will usually tell the class or somehow have a mutual understanding with someone before they just go around touching their nearly sleeping bodies, about 1/10 people are still totally startled when you put your hand on their foot for the first time, which is the exact opposite of what a yoga teacher wants when their guiding a meditation. “damn it. I fucked up his savasana” crosses my mind every time. But come to find, even though it may pull them out of their meditation initially, they will usually come into a much deeper meditation after the acupressure is done.
I’ll never forget the response I had from this one student, wide eyed and bushy tailed straight out of savasana “WHAT WAS THAT?!” he said. “Um.. that was bliss sir. You just experienced a tiny slice of what meditation feels like.” He insisted I put him under some type of hypnosis, questioning his family that all looked at him like he was a little nuts. They felt it, but they accepted it for what it was and let it go. That feeling is what yoga is all about and it can be difficult for one to reach this state of mind without the proper facilitation of words, sounds, and in this case touch. Theres just something about the human touch that is so much more healing than many other medicines, and it is one of the most important things that western medicine practices lack.
Are you a human or an algorithm?
Your doctor hardly has any physical contact with your body, except when they use their stethoscope. Taking notes logging your symptoms on a computer to categorize you with a group of people with kinda sorta the same thing. Have you ever wondered why it feels kind of good when your doctor uses a stethoscope to listen to your heart? its the closest to skin to skin contact they will usually get, and the transfer of energy is stimulating. making adjustments with my hands is probably the most important part in teaching yoga in my opinion. It feels so great when I can give a verbal cue and the class can make adjustments for themselves, but when the adjustment is made with the guide of someone else’s touch, energy is also sent there and it stays with the student much longer than a verbal cue. It makes the student feel strengthened, supported, and they will likely never forget how to adjust themselves into proper alignment in that pose again.
“Where attention goes, energy flows.” -Some wise person
The power of the breath is strong, but it’s only as strong as the mind allows it to be. Touch stimulates the body, redirecting the attention of the student allowing them to relax more deeply. This is the same concept with the bliss dude, and there are all kinds of fun pressure points in the feet. I can feel the stress, and specific parts and organs of the body that need to be worked on. It is so shocking to me the variations of how much stress people carry in their feet, but whether you have the stress level of a single mom with 4 kids, working 3 jobs, while still trying to get Sally to school on time so that you can avoid another lecture from the principal, or your only worry is when the weed man is going to come next, we can all benefit from the healing energy that the touch has to offer.
The effect of healing through touch is not specific to the feet or even acupressure, but it does help that the feet are directly liked to the organs. Healing through touch can be done through any part of the body as long as the teachers is fully present to transfer their energy to the student. I’ve felt the presence of a teacher and the absence of another, and it makes all the difference.