Why do adjustments?

Yoga Minded: 07 April 2014: Why do adjustments?

adjustingGiving adjustments is the main thing I love about teaching. It’s amazing how so much communication can take place in relative silence. I see adjustments as a way to help and support people during their yoga practice. I see adjustments as a dialogue, with my hands and intention I ask the student ‘do you want to go this way?’ If they don’t want to or are not ready then I would never force it. I’d just stay with them and breathe with them. If they do want to go, then I go with them. It’s definitely not an imposition. It’s also a form of yoga for me. When I’m teaching self-practice I flow along doing adjustments in the same way I flow along in my practice (on a good day).
Adjustments don’t have to be strong and deep, sometimes a small correction can connect a student to their core strength or correct their alignment. This can happen in silence, without the need for a wordy explanation that would take a student away from the flow of their practice.
If a student is going the wrong way in a posture, a hands on adjustment can point them in the right direction.
Sometimes a student doesn’t realise they could go deeper into a pose, so if they are breathing well, an adjustment can show them a deeper level to their practice.
Often stiffness or old injuries stop students from going deeper. If they are breathing well and if they are an experienced regular student then an adjustment combined with the heat of the practice can actually help to open up the body.
Melanie-CooperMelanie Cooper has been teaching yoga for 16 years, and training yoga teachers for eight years. She divides her time between London and Goa, practicing and teaching yoga and sometimes dancing on the beach. She currently runs the morning ashtanga self practice at The Life Centre in Islington and runs an annual teacher training at Brahmani Yoga in Goa and at Zolder Studio in North London, She has practiced at Ashtanga Yoga London for many years, and has also studied with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. Melanie lives in North London.
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