A thoughtful and intelligent teacher doesn’t just have a well-planned sequence but also possesses the skill to physically adjust students or use props effectively. This art develops with practice, patience and teaching, enhancing ability to guide and support the students with care, gentleness and right knowledge.
Essential Elements in Yoga Adjustments
- Breath Awareness
- Joint stability and aligning the joints is the key to right adjustments
- Preserving the prana(energy flow) creating ease
- Building awareness about the body and mind
- Creating a sense of surrender and acceptance rather than forcing
the art of adjusting yoga postures, the primary goal is “Sukha” Bringing a person into– a state of inner freedom, ease, and spaciousness within the asana. This aligns with the principles outlined in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, specifically in Sutra 2.46, which emphasizes ‘sthira sukham asanam,’ indicating the pose should be steady and comfortable.
When we make adjustments, our aim is to honor this sacred wisdom by facilitating a sense of ‘ananta samapattibhyam’ meaning “Perfection in an asana is attained by the right effort and being present, relax and aware in Asana”
This aligns with the goal of yoga – ‘chitta vritti nirodha’ – becoming aware of the fluctuations and achievements attitude of the mind. The purpose is creating a space where the practitioner can feel the harmony and freedom within the posture.
Self practice and teaching
You must know your yoga practice well. Focus on developing your personal practice. In Tradition it has been said you must be able to teach an entire yoga class using verbal and visual cues alone, only then enter into adjusting with hands.
As Patanjali emphasizes in the Yoga Sutras, “Abhyasa vairagyabhyam tan nirodhah” (Sutra 1.12), which suggests that consistent practice and detachment are the keys Thus, by dedicating yourself to regular practice and self-improvement, you’ll enhance your ability to guide others in their yoga journey.
Intention and permission
Build a good relationship and once students know and feel comfortable with you, only then offer physical adjustments; seek their permission beforehand.
Approach adjustments with an intention of care, offering nourishment and positive energy through touch.
Always use open hands while adjusting, unless it’s really needed than hold with permission, being mindful of sensitive areas and respecting personal boundaries.
Visualize the perfect posture in your mind and mentally overlay that image on your students to observe how they’re positioned in the pose. This will help you.
The aim of adjustments isn’t to completely fix a student’s posture but to offer guidance and understanding of proper alignment.
Prior to making an adjustment, ask the student to ease out of the pose slightly. Often, students may push themselves to their limits, so, for instance, if a student is in Parsvotansana and over-rotating the hip, gently guide them to come up from pose then adjust or provide a prop before making any corrections. This approach prioritizes safety and helps prevent potential injuries.
Always focus on the foundation of the pose before making adjustments.
in standing poses, observe the feet and legs
in forward bends, pay attention to the legs and buttocks
in backbends, notice the arms, legs and pelvic
for inversions and arm balances, observe the hands, arm and neck placement.
By examining the base of the posture, you’ll understand what’s happening in the body more clearly.
If the foundation isn’t stable, the spine might bear too much weight. Never let the spine collapse.
Before making adjustments, also take a good look at the spine to ensure it’s supported and aligned.
Realigning Yoga: Honoring Body Signals and True Purpose”
Handle with care – joints are the body’s delicate spaces. Avoid exerting direct pressure on all joints, including spine and knees.
Respect Body Signals: Avoid manual adjustments aiming to force students deeper into poses rather than creating right Alignments.
These approaches can potentially lead to injuries and arise from the misconception that a strong yoga practice means ignoring bodily cues and surpassing personal limits.
Embracing Hyper-mobility with Care: Gently guide hyper-mobile individuals Offer adjustments focusing on grounding, stabilizing, and building strength rather than pursuing making them flexible.
Core Connection: Help hyper-mobile students connect with their core strength for enhanced stability and support, prioritizing a balanced practice over excessive flexibility.
True Story:Nurturing A Path to Healing
One of my students, who had been a gymnast since the age of 8, was experiencing back pain for 15 years. She was used to focusing on being super flexible but lacked strength. When she joined my yoga training, I noticed this and started to help her build strength, especially in her core and other parts of the body.
In just two weeks, she came to me with tears of joy! It was the first time in her life that she felt a day without back pain. It’s a gentle reminder to pay attention to what’s really needed.
Wisdom advice to know Anatomy
As a yoga teacher, having a good understanding of anatomy is very important before entering into the area of adjustments. If you are not sure than just use gentle touch or verbal cues to guide students into the right alignments, focusing on bones and joints. It’s not just about flexibility but also about balance and strength for a healthier practice.
Gentle reminders before class
Foundation and Balance: Always begin by your own grounding, relaxation, focus, and make sure that you are from in your base before making adjustments.
Initiate Contact for Stability: When starting an adjustment, check if the student’s foundation is firm, provide stability if needed to support their Base.
Guiding with Breath and Awareness:
Move with the student’s breath rhythm while guiding them into the posture.
Lengthened the body with inhalation
Give further action with exhalation
Look for signs of resistance or discomfort: Shaking in muscles, Hardness of breath , facial tension, or if they say ‘enough.’ If any of these appear, pause and stop.
Communication is Key:
Engage in clear communication. Ask directly if the adjustment feels too intense or if you should ease off.
True Purpose of Yoga: The original essence of yoga, rooted in self-discovery and awakening, has shifted in Western culture to focus on extraordinary physical achievements and exceeding boundaries. This change has resulted in various injuries, chronic and acute, due to misinterpretation of the practice.
Patanjali’s Insight: Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra 2.46, “Sthira Sukham Asanam,” suggests finding steadiness and comfort in a pose. It emphasizes the importance of steadiness and ease rather than forcing oneself into extreme or uncomfortable positions, encouraging a balanced practice.
The way of Yoga New vision is rooted in loving guidance. The Real essence of yoga lies not in physical forcing but in understanding and honoring your body’s unique limits, finding comfort, and creating steadiness within each pose. Remember always, Yoga is a journey of self-exploration, self-care and self-love.
See Why London’s Om Yoga Magazine Calls Yoga New Vision,
World’s Most Authentic Yoga Teacher Training
Deep “A yogi friend”
“Uniting East and West by combining Ancient wisdom with Modern science”
Yoga New Vision
Get in Touch
Address: Jl. Raya Sanggingan No.36, Kedewatan, Kecamatan Ubud, Kabupaten Gianyar, Bali 80517, Indonesia