I’ve taught many different aspects of yoga, but I do have my favourite subjects. I was able to teach one of these yesterday–yoga adjustments–at Forster Yoga Studio. I presented theory and practice on the hands-on, physical way of instructing students in postures.
In an article in “Yoga Suits Her, I described three main styles of learning. One of them is kinaesthetic. I’m someone who learns this way–hands-on, experientially. I’ve discovered through my teaching over thirty-five years that a disproportionate number of yoga teachers learn kinaesthetically. But it’s vital for trainees and teachers to have developed visual and auditory teaching skills, too.
Information is immediately and effectively conveyed through the sense of touch. It’s because your skin is the largest organ in your body. We have almost a million sensory receptors in our skin that communicate with the central nervous system. Without even having to think about it, we get constant information about temperature, pressure and discomfort.
So, one of the most important skills a yoga teacher can learn is sensitivity of touch. Hands-on adjustments require the ability to centre, clarity of intention, attunement to breathing and paying attention. And, years of practice.
I’ve found that most yoga teachers have the dedication required to learn yoga adjustments. But the ‘art of adjustment’ only comes from patient practice.
A couple of years ago now, I wrote a book called “The Art of Adjustment”. It was created to help trainees enhance their learning, which may have been sketchy on this topic when they did yoga teacher training. I wrote the text in collaboration with Monica Redondo and her husband. Jane Thomas is the beautiful model (pictured above) in the images of the book.
What’s special about the way we produced the book is that you can down-load it straightaway onto your computer–text and photographs, and audio (my voice).
You can find this teaching manual on the Live Yoga Life website. All up there are 38 fundamental yoga adjustments described. The reader/listener gets a practical and basic insight into just what sensitivity of touch is.
Check it out! Also, let me know if you’d like ‘The Art of Adjustment’ workshop presented in your yoga studio.