Principles & Practices of Adjusting – Tips for Teachers
James E. Bryan, senior Cairns Knoff Yoga teacher, offers tips to help you adjust safely and with confidence.
As teachers we can greatly assist our students with a solid understanding of the principles of adjustment. Learning how to safely and trustfully place hands on a student is a skill that can guide their movements and help them feel their way into their yoga practice.
To be a safe competent yoga teacher it’s essential to have a solid understanding of postures, techniques, and their applications. By solid, I mean beyond form and aesthetics. It is one thing to have an impressive visual practice, it’s entirely another to be able to clearly convey or highlight what’s occurring internally as a result of the practice.
Similarly, creating the external shape of a yoga pose doesn’t mean there’s correct internal alignment or energy flow. A pose where energy flows freely—through blood, nerve and lymph systems; where bones and muscles align and balance; where body/mind is light and reflective—can be regarded as well-executed or functional.
For example, a beginner could be practicing Vrksasana (Tree Pose) to the best of their ability with a fully-focused mind, but they may not be exhibiting the classical shape of the asana. However, at this point in time it’s where they’re most physically and mentally connected, so they’re exhibiting their version of a well-executed [functional] pose. In the reverse case, an advanced practitioner could be practicing the same pose with a distracted mind, but with correct external shape. Because mind and body are disconnected, the student is not performing the pose functionally.
Adjustments must therefore occur, and be offered. And while I use asana to clarify these basic adjustment principles, they can equally be applied to pranayama and meditation.
Before you adjust …. The complete article is available in the current March issue available direct by subscription from our web site http://ayl.com.au/subscriptions-and-back-issues-fb/