Physical Adjustments: As You Begin: Adjustment & Assisting Guidelines

Mindfulness & Professionalism

  1. Teachers are advised to dress professionally and avoid hanging hair, unkempt fingernails and dangling jewelry.
  2. Excellence requires staying present to your breath.
  3. You can vow to use the power of touch in a mindful way.
  4. Of fundamental importance is to stay grounded, aware and relaxed. Do not touch students while distracted or unfocused.

Moving Into the Student’s Space

  1. Before beginning the adjustment, consider if the pose is two-sided. If so, determine whether you’ll have the opportunity to do both sides and only begin if you can do so.
  2. Move gradually.
  3. Move with clarity.
  4. You may wish to provide verbal support, questioning or cueing as suits your intention, style and familiarity with the student.
  5. When asking for student permission, be mindful of your words so as to empower the student to make a choice.
  6. Consider such a question as “May I show you X?” where X is specific to the pose such as “a way to stabilize your foundation” or “a way to align your pelvis in this pose.”

How You Ask Permission

I believe the question shouldn’t be ‘is this okay?’ I believe we should teach and be taught.  The question should be ‘can you go farther?’ If my teacher had asked me that, perhaps of my own volition I would’ve broken through my own barriers and moved my ribs back on my own. Perhaps she could have asked ‘can I show you?’ and then placed her hands on me, which would truly be the essence of teaching: to show me how to get there myself. Both options seem better than a passive yes or no, where I am tacitly asked to usurp my practice to what she thinks my practice should be, and where she then is forced to bear the responsibility of my practice herself. – Brandy Reinke

Utmost Respect and Care

Every body is sacred. This is the attitude I take when touching my students. I think, “This being is precious,” and so when I touch them physically or energetically, I touch them with the utmost respect and care. – Sue Flamm (Puja)