Verbal Assists: Adjustment & Assisting Guidelines

When choosing to guide a student in better alignment or a deeper expression of a pose, consider refining your verbal cues or offering a different verbal teaching. Some options include:

Teach the point to the whole class.

  • Oftentimes, teaching to the whole class can be the easiest, least disruptive, and most effective way to respond to something seen among a few students.
  • Options include giving new verbal instructions and cues or potentially adding an additional demonstration.

Give one-on-one instruction.

  • When there is a student who is at a different level from the rest of class or she isn’t responding to previous instruction, then quickly note the elements in Preparing for Assists (above).
  • Giving one-on-one instruction is a very common practice used by many excellent teachers. When possible and appropriate, the benefits of moving to the student include being able to show her the pose more closely, provide touch if appropriate, and provide more discreet interaction.
  • The experience and connection between teacher and student plus observation of the student’s comfort in her body can help identify suitable teaching options.
  • New teachers may also wish to be mindful of their intention and be sure to practice observing the student carefully. This can then guide the tone and technique for offering the assist.