The Teacher’s Touch and Yoga – Part 4: “Awareness” adjustments

I call these kinds of adjustments “awareness” or “focus” adjustments because their purpose is to simply bring awareness or focus to a body part.  I’m sure my TT instructors would crucify me if they knew I was using them, because they’re a quick and expedient way to bring focus to a body part instead of an oral cue.  I use them when I don’t want to interrupt the flow of my sequence, but I may happen to be near a student who needs a minor adjustment or something pointed out to them.

So if you want a student to pull his shoulder blades back toward his spine in Urdhva Mukha Svanasana, you might firmly but gently touch the student between the shoulder blades with two fingers and cue, “pull your shoulder blades toward here.”


To get a student to tuck his hip under his pelvis in Warrior II, I might place my hand on his protruding hip and say, “tuck this under.”  To get a student to move her weight to the back of her rear foot in Warrior I, I might touch the outside of her rear foot with my foot and cue, “shift your weight to the outside of this foot.”

This kind of touch is expedient because often you just need a small movement from the yogi and for some reason oral cues just aren’t happening, or you need to move on. You may cue “raise your right arm” three times, and if that arm isn’t going up, simply touch the student’s right arm and say, “raise this.” You may tell the yogi to move his hand two inches to the left in a down dog, but sometimes it’s just quicker to touch the mat where you want his hand to go and say, “move your hand over to here.”  Hey, it works, right?

I use “awareness” adjustments as an aside, in a lower voice, for an individual student.  It might take all of two seconds to do.  They can also be used on newer students who may not have the body awareness and control of a more advanced yogi.

See also:  The Teacher’s Touch and Yoga – Part 5:  “Feel Good” Adjustments

 The Teacher’s Touch and Yoga – Part 4:  “Awareness” adjustments

The Teacher’s Touch and Yoga – Part 3:  Deeper Expression of a Pose

The Teacher’s Touch and Yoga – Part 2:  Avoiding Injury

The Teacher’s Touch and Yoga – Part 1:  Moving a Student

~Namaste y’all!

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