Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that's why they call it present...

Friday, September 2, 2011

Physical Adjustments-A different Kind of Communication

I went to a new yoga studio last week and the yoga teacher happened to be a girl I’ve grow up with since grade school. I knew she was a yoga teacher as well, but didn’t know she worked at this studio. I always enjoy taking classes where I know the teachers personally, especially when they’re friends of mine. One of the many reasons behind this is because of the adjustments. It’s one thing to tell a student to move into a posture, but it's a different thing to in reality place your hands on another’s body.

Personally, I LOVE adjustments, more so now that I’m a yoga teacher because I recognize the logic behind them and welcome the benefits. Some often think that adjustments are done to “correct” or “repair” your pose, where in fact they’re just meant to help you reap the full benefits of each posture. I’ll admit when I was just a student and was given an adjustment I also had thoughts of “I thought I was doing it right though...???” This is why it’s important to explain to your students WHY adjustments are done at the beginning of class, as well as asking your students if it’s OK that you adjust them if found valuable to their practice.
Please also be aware that before giving any kind of physical adjustment to your students, you need to make sure you have an intimate understanding of both the posture AND the adjustment. What works for you MAY not work for others so move forward based on the student and how THEY will profit and NOT what just felt good for you in a previous class.

Taking the classes of my mentors and fellow teachers that took the training with me is my favorite because they know me, my style and ultimately understand what I need to advance as we did spend a year together in each others close personal space. When being adjusted they can push harder, stronger and go deeper. I am aware of the adjustment and WHY they're doing it.
Having said that, why do some yoga teachers not adjust other yoga teachers?
While taking this girls class, she didn’t adjust me...I’m 100% sure I was the only one she DIDN’T adjust during the entire 90 minute class. I’ve seen this before, and to be honest I’ve also been guilty of this.

Judgement is probably the biggest reasoning behind this.

You’re worried that the other yoga teacher will think you’re adjusting them “WRONG” I had to let go of this and concentrate on my INTENTIONS. When adjusting my main concern is how you can benefit more from this pose. You may also need to change your approach too. Instead of walking up to the student and moving a limb, ask them instead while saying “have you tried it like this..” or “I’ve done this before and felt it was better for me, how do you feel?” You never know. They may try it, and realize it’s not for them and go back to their original position, OR you may have just changed their practice entirely and helped them move one step forward.

At the end of the day you need to let go of your fears, inhibitions and pride.
Believe in yourself, your accomplishments and most of all believe in your ability as a yoga DID make it THIS far.

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE adjustments and not just a simple tap to open your arms wider but the real touch of a body pulling me into a posture. There is nothing like it. You introduced an interesting dynamic to adjustments I never considered before... since i will be a teacher soon this is something i need to start thinking about. great advice though!! <3