I recently attended a workshop working with the art of adjustment led by Monica Voss entitled ‘The Power of Touch’ based on her new book of the same title.
The workshop was organised by Diana O’Reily a British Wheel of Yoga County Representative, who describes Monica Voss as “an incredibly subtle, intelligent and experienced teacher with 35 years experience working with students as well as student teachers of yoga. She is co-owner and director of the Esther Myers Yoga Studio in Toronto, Canada. In addition to teaching weekly classes at her home studio, she conducts workshops, retreats and teacher training internationally.”
The whole experience was very nurturing on a pleasant hot summer’s evening at a beautiful nature reserve in South Wales.
We were a small group. All attendees were yoga teachers and a few experienced yoga students. We worked in pairs and encouraged to switch partners throughout. The adjustments and asanas were gentle but worked well. To be honest I wouldn’t be inclined to use many of the adjustments we used with my students. Why?
Larger Group size in my classes and time limitation just wouldn’t be practical to ‘hands on adjustment’ with every student.
Many students don’t like to be touched. I always ask the student’s permission if I really feel their posture would benefit from gentle touch adjustment.
A workshop setting would be conducive to this level of hands on adjustment work.
I’m always cautious with partner work too as many students don’t enjoy it and it’s important for me to respect their choice. I encourage those students to experiment with props or alone or observing the partner work.
I’m very fortunate that my yoga classes are relaxed, welcoming, encouraging, safe and fun. It fills me with joy when new students comment on how friendly the fellow students are towards them.
Relaxation is the key to letting go and is essential to the practice of yoga in my opinion. If my students can be themselves, relax, ‘let-go’ of their expectations, fears, ego, etc., they will experience the true essence of Yoga to yoke/unite mind, body and breath.
Everything is Energy and I’m truly blessed to feel the tangible dance and balancing in my students energy in my classes.
I do use hands on adjustment occasionally with some students if they happily agree, but rely more on clear verbal instruction, demonstration, discussion as I openly welcome dialogue from my students to share their experience of a posture or yoga technique.
I’m a huge believer in Collective Consciousness and I have the privilege to see this concept in action in every class I teach, my own yoga experience, Homoeopathic Consultations and life.
Do share your experience and/or feelings of ‘hands-on adjustment’ in yoga classes. Do you prefer just verbal instructions, do you mind ‘hands-on adjustments?