If you’ve been practicing yoga for a while, you are undoubtedly familiar with the adjustments that are a regular aspect of most classes. Instructors will often assist their students to help them deepen their stretch and get the most from their practice.
Whether through some gentle pressure on the hips in downward dog, help standing steady in tree pose, or guidance into a more difficult pose like headstand, receiving an adjustment in class can be wildly beneficial.
When done correctly, adjustments can truly help a person move deeper into their practice. Adjustments offer several benefits including:
- Deepening students into a pose
- Helping with incorrect alignment in a posture
- Increasing feelings of relaxation
- Helping correctly move the energy of a pose
Adjustments also offer benefits on a deeper level. They provide a sacred connection between teacher and student. They also help create trust and allow a student to move through fear. Adjustments also assist a student to move through any self-imposed limitations they have and help them realize that they are capable of much, much more than they realize.
Instructors offering adjustments should have a complete understanding of each pose, as well as proper alignment. They should be familiar with how the physical body works and an understanding that each student will adapt to each pose differently. An understanding of the student’s energetic body and subtle energy field should also be completely understood before adjustments are offered.
Moving with a person’s energy is essential when giving adjustments. An instructor offering adjustments will be aware of a student’s breath, and where they may be holding tension. Being firmly grounded with their students will also allow instructors to offer the best adjustment for their student in the present moment.
Before an adjustment is made, an instructor should also always be aware of any injuries their student has experienced in order to ensure their safety. Giving an improper adjustment (especially to someone with an injury) can end up doing more harm than good. Those who have injuries should always inform their instructors prior to class, so adjustments can be made accordingly.
Adjustments can be a welcoming part of your regular yoga class, offering deeper insight and connection to your practice. They can also complement your online yoga practice. When students receive an adjustment in class, they can take what they learned from the adjustment home with them. Practicing what you’ve learned in front of a mirror at home can be an excellent complement to the adjustment you received in the studio