THE 10 RULES OF HANDS-ON ADJUSTMENTS FOR YOGA TEACHERS

Imagine you are in the middle of a yoga class completely focused on doing triangle pose,  and all of a sudden you feel the teacher grabbing your arm and stretching it almost past  your limit. It would be so uncomfortable and unpleasant, wouldn’t it?

Or imagine this scenario when you are resting in child’s pose, and you feel the teacher  coming towards you to give you this delicate, yet strong adjustment, but he or she barely  touches you and leaves you wondering what she was even doing.

The 10 Rules of Hands-On Adjustments for Yoga Teachers

We have all been in these situations at least once, whether you have been a student and  felt an uncomfortable adjustment because of the teacher; or you have been a teacher in a  class and weren’t exactly 100 percent sure of how to adjust a student for a certain pose.

That is why it is so important to understand the basic guidelines to giving hands-on  adjustments as a yoga teacher, and we would like to share them with you:

1) ASK FOR PERMISSION

This is probably the most important rule to start with. If you ask for permission before the  yoga class starts, you may feel more confident to give adjustments since you have the  actual consent of your students. A great way to find out whether someone would like an  adjustment or not is to ask. You can start the beginning of the class by saying “I would  like to offer hands-on adjustments during this yoga session, but if you prefer not to be  touched please raise your hand and I will be mindful of your space.”

2) UNDERSTAND HOW TO DO ADJUSTMENTS CORRECTLY

It is a great idea to practice giving adjustments with someone who teaches yoga  alignment, or join a yoga teacher training where you can learn more about yoga alignment  in-depth.

The 10 Rules of Hands-On Adjustments for Yoga Teachers

3) HAVE CLEAR INTENTIONS

Be mindful of your intentions when adjusting a student. Use gentle, yet firm touch. Be  aware of avoiding touch in sensitive places, which could give them unclear signals.

4) GIVE MODIFICATIONS FOR DIFFERENT POSTURES

It’s possible you may have class with an elderly person, a yoga beginner, and someone  who is more advanced. Make sure to give options such as using a block, strap or a  cushion, or a modification to deepen the posture.

5) ADJUST ON BOTH SIDES

Make sure to adjust a person on both sides, to create balance in their body.

6) KNOW WHO YOUR AUDIENCE IS

If you are teaching a pre-natal yoga class, the adjustments will be different than with  someone who is an advanced hatha yogi. Same as if you are working with trauma victims,  it is important to do a specialised training before offering adjustments.

7) OFFER VERBAL CUES

You can even speak out loud as you are adjusting someone, “keep your chest open and  relax your shoulders.” This will remind the other students in the class to do the same,  saving you time to not have to adjust every single person in the class for the same pose.

8) HOLD SPACE FOR YOUR STUDENTS

Emotions and different traumas are held in the memory of the muscles and joints. It’s  possible that your student may feel emotional and need to express these emotions. Hold  space in your class by making them feel safe. If you feel any resistance, or that it is  uncomfortable physically or emotionally for your student, gently walk away.

9) BE MINDFUL WHILE MAKING AN ADJUSTMENT

Make sure that the student knows you are approaching them to make an adjustment by  giving a gentle touch on the back before starting. This will ensure that you won’t startle  them if they are super concentrated in the pose.

10) UNDERSTAND AND PRACTICE THE POSE

It is important to know how the pose feels in your own body, and knowing what is  possible in each posture will help you feel more confident in adjusting your own students.

WHERE CAN I DO A HANDS-ON ADJUSTMENT TRAINING?

At Sampoorna Yoga, we offer an incredibly informative hands on adjustment teacher training course. In our online yoga adjustment TTC you will learn the ‘Art of Alignment’ along with practical tools to make you feel safe and confident while adjusting  your students.

Doing an Online Yoga Alignment and Hands-on Adjustment TTC will empower you as a yoga teacher, and help your own students connect to their body on a deeper, and more spiritual level as they explore the postures and deepen their yoga practice.

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Sampoorna Yoga’s Teacher Training Courses are registered with Yoga Alliance USA. When you graduate from our school you will be eligible to register with them as a RYT, Registered Yoga Teacher, in your respective categories.

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