01 Feb Why Do They Keep Adjusting My Downward Dog?
Why do teachers adjust me?
Am I doing something wrong?
I was already in the pose as deep as I could be. Why did they push me to go farther, when I thought yoga was about honoring where I’m at and letting go of competition?
1. It feels good to be touched.
2. An adjustment provides a road map of where to go in a pose.
3. An adjustment helps you access your fullest range of motion.
4. We want to keep you safe.
If we notice your joints out of alignment in as way that puts you at risk for injury, we may guide you into a safer position.
What’s important to keep in mind is that YOU know more about the sensations in your body than even the most skilled instructor. IT IS ALWAYS OK TO OPT OUT OF ADJUSTMENTS.
Sometimes you don’t feel like being touched, or you’re nursing an injury, or just slept weird and woke up with a sore neck. Maybe you feel like softening your practice that day, and have no desire to go deeper. Some students feel pain when adjusted, but are embarrassed to speak out or think that the teacher must know better, so they suffer through pain or even get injured from an adjustment.
During an adjustment, if sensations go beyond therapeutic, into strain or pain, speak up immediately.
Here are some things you can say to your teacher to let them know:
“That’s good right there.” (If you’re at your edge and feel that they are still going to guide you deeper)
“Can you go softer, please?”
“That doesn’t feel right for my body.”
Readers: I would love to hear your feedback on this one. What do you think about adjustments? Are they necessary? Love them, hate them? Would it be better to find the pose on your own, in your own time?
Oh P.S. Adjusting downward dog is one of the most often given adjustments because it’s practiced so many times within a Vinyasa Class. It’s quick and easy for a teacher to step in, press your hips up, and step out. (Really though, doesn’t it feel great when your teacher draws your hips up, lessening the strain of gravity on your back and legs??? Or maybe that’s just me : )
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