Mindfulness & Professionalism
- Teachers are advised to dress professionally and avoid hanging hair, unkempt fingernails and dangling jewelry.
- Excellence requires staying present to your breath.
- You can vow to use the power of touch in a mindful way.
- Of fundamental importance is to stay grounded, aware and relaxed. Do not touch students while distracted or unfocused.
Moving Into the Student’s Space
- 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.
- Move gradually.
- Move with clarity.
- You may wish to provide verbal support, questioning or cueing as suits your intention, style and familiarity with the student.
- When asking for student permission, be mindful of your words so as to empower the student to make a choice.
- 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)