Physical Adjusting in Yoga Practice – II Part

Physical Adjusting in Yoga Practice


Why do we physical adjustment students:

  1. Correcting Alignment
  2. Fixing an Injury
  3. Offering props or variations
  4. Bringing someone deeper into a pose
  5. Getting students into a pose that is impossible on their own
  6. Light massage or relaxation
  1. Correcting Alignment

Probably one of the main reasons you would adjust. Remember always go from the ground up.  All alignment comes from the foundation and what is touching the floor. So make sure that is correct before continuing further.

  1. Fixing an Injury

Often the most important reason you would be adjusting someone. Deferring injury to themselves in the long term. In inversions, someone could injure themselves the first time they do it. Or if they have a prior injury, time needs to be spent making sure whatever injury they have does not get worse.

  1. Offering props or variations

Students are afraid of not looking like everyone else in the room that sometimes one person might need a strap or block while others are fine without it. Be prepared to assist in any way possible and make the student feel comfortable in being different and using a prop. Variations are also often needed for someone that has some sort of lack of mobility, strength or injury so showing them that option as well makes them feel part of the class instead of them just sitting there watching everyone else do it, or struggling to no end in sight.

  1. Bringing someone deeper into a pose

More advanced students like it when a teacher can push them a little further in a soft supine twist or forward bend. Often fixing an alignment on a client that has perfect alignment is not necessary so bringing them deeper into a twist or alleviating pressure in a pose is always accepted.

  1. Getting students into a pose that is impossible on their own

Twists and inversions are often difficult for yogis to do on their own. Offering a strap for Gomukhasana and even putting it in their hands behind their back will help them immensely. Often using a wall can aid in this as well. Just suggesting to use a wall for a hand balancing inversion like handstand might get them to the next level in their practice.

  1. Light massage or relaxation

Probably the most loved adjustment by clients. That massage at the end of Savasana or shoulder rub in Pigeon Pose just makes a client melt and will make them love your class. Plus a good option for experienced yogis, if you can’t find an alignment correction to fix.

Light massage or relaxation

Always try to physically adjust everyone once unless you have 20+ people in the class you should be able to go to each student once at least. Sometimes you can do most clients 2 or even 3 times just depends on your style of teaching and how much energy you have that day. Please note the slower the class the easier it is to adjust physically. Why is that?

Fast vinyasa classes are upbeat and move so quickly that you have little time to adjust in a pose. So unless you know your sequence well you will need to do a lot of the poses yourself. Try not to get too caught up in physical adjusting. There are many great yoga teachers that do not adjust so if you don’t have the energy or time in a class don’t worry about it. With experience, it will become easier.

By Heather Anderson

If you want to deepen the practice of adjustments or if you are a certified teacher and must complete your YACEP hours, at Hot Yoga Academy we have the course: The Art of Adjustment.