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

Last one, I promise.  The last kind of adjustment you as a yoga teacher may do are generally called “feel good” adjustments.  Like the name implies, these adjustments just feel good when done properly.  They help give a little extra stretch, reach, pressure, or release where needed in a pose, and make yoga more enjoyable.  Also known as “come back next week” adjustments, they add value to what we as yoga teachers do in the classroom, beyond just slinging a series of poses at the yogis and telling them to breathe.

Classic examples of these kinds of adjustments are pressing back on the hips in down dog / child’s pose; pulling back on the hips from behind in down dog.  My favorite Ashtanga teacher (and don’t try this unless you’re a 110 lb. yoga teacher!) would simply lean her whole body along the length of students’ backs when they were in down dog.

IMG_1046

Certainly, there’s some crossover between classifying an adjustment as a “feel good” or as a “help a student deeper into a pose,” but that’s okay, the goal of adjustments is to help the students feel the physical joy of a yoga practice. So placing your hands on the front of a student’s shoulders and pulling back in cobra pose, could be either a “feel good” or an aid to achieving a deeper pose. Similarly, turning a student’s thighs back and down in Baddha Konasana not only feels good, but helps open the inner thighs.

Finally, an example of a “release” adjustment is doing one of the many Savasana adjustments.  I’ve had several different kinds done on me, and learned a full body method in TT; all of them felt good and helped the body to relax and release into corpse pose.

So, adjustments: These five articles outlined various purposes for a teacher doing physical adjustments on yoga students. If you’re going to touch a student in class, always have a proper, instructive purpose. By classifying various types of adjustments and giving examples, I hope that the reader, as a yoga teacher, can more clearly define if he is going to touch the student, why the touch is appropriate, and if so, what the specific touch will be.

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!

Comments welcome: