Hi, I'm Anita Cheung, a yoga teacher, and the founder of Social Yoga. Ask anyone who’s been to one of my classes, and they’ll probably tell you one of their favourite things about the experience was the head massage/shoulder press at the end of class. There’s a little part of me that thinks people only come to my yoga class for the savasana touch but hey, whatever gets them to the mat is fine by me.
After every class, someone always asks me about the oils I use. At first, I found myself becoming an unofficial spokesperson for a large, corporate essential oil company. While I am a fan of their products, I felt like this opportunity could be better served to highlight a passionate, local entrepreneur who's doing great work with essential oils. Enter Woodlot and our scent collaboration!
At the end of every class, I now use our special Woodlot blended oil to give hands-on enhancements during savasana.
To learn How to Give the Best Head Massages, read up below:
- Roll the essential oil onto the palm of your hand.
- Rub your hands together to coat them evenly. This simple gesture allows your student/massage recipient know you're near, and signals the beginning of the massage.
- Get low (yoga squat or kneel) by the crown of your friend’s skull. Notice their inhales and exhales, and begin to match them so you are breathing in sync.
- During an exhale, place the heels of your hands on your friend's chest just below their collarbone. Apply a gentle, down & out pressure to open up their chest.
- Next, point your fingertips towards one another (no need to interlace fingers) with your palms facing you and your thumbs up (like you’re creating a little gate with your hands). Place your “gate” at the base of your friend’s neck and gently pull up towards you/towards the base of their skull. Repeat a few times.
- After repeating step five a few more times, approach the base of the skull, separate your hands from one another, and start to massage around the occipital lobe (bony part where skull meets neck). This is a juicy spot for anyone who suffers from bad headaches.
- From there, work each hand along the jaw, up and around your friend's ears and up to their temples.
- Allow your fingers to apply gentle pressure to your friend's temples as you use your thumbs to pull from the space between your their brows to their temples in a stroking motion (as if you’re outlining the top of their eyebrows).
- Finish off by using your nails and gently massaging in light circles around your friend's temples, working your way up to the crown of their head.
- Optional: give your friend's hair a little tug/pull (especially if they have a top knot or a ponytail).
When touching anyone, make your hands like “liquid gold." In other words, wrap/melt your hands around the other person firmly. Try to avoid that flimsy, dead-fish handshake feel. Also, say no to poking (ouch!), and gentle fingertip grazing (creepy much?).
No partner? No problem! I like to use the oils on myself by dabbing some on my inner wrists (perfume style), and rolling some behind my ears and along my collarbones so the scent can waft up to my face and help me relax at the end of the day.