Yoga and Posture Awareness - Yoga Practice Blog

Teaching Yoga Postures with Awareness

about teaching yoga posturesBy Faye Martins

Teaching yoga postures is an art. Your techniques will set you apart from others. You can endear yourself to your students with small details like your selection of music or the use of fragrant aromatherapy sprays or essential oils. However, your ability and the techniques used to engage students into improved postures are a way to create better classroom relationships.


Debate over Teaching Yoga and Posture Awareness

Hands on or hands off assisting is another area where yoga instructors agree to disagree. Even though the majority of teachers participate in some sort of hands on interaction with students, others advocate shying away from adjustments. Proponents of hands off say that touching your students provides an external distraction, which prevents students from experiencing full awareness of their bodies.

Some facilities have hands-off policies to prevent any claims of sexual harassment. After COVID-19, there will be less hands-on adjustments. Nevertheless, hands-on yoga posture assisting is the most popular method used by teachers, and it does present unique interaction with students. As time goes on, we’ll see how studios and health clubs adapt to changing times.


Before putting hands on a student, always remember a few guidelines:

1. Ask if anyone has an injury or weak spot.

2. Never be overzealous. Adjustments should be gentle and slight.

3. Be clear about what you are attempting to accomplish in the pose at the onset.

4. Make sure you are firmly anchored before engaging in an adjustment.


Reasons you may want to adjust a student:

1. You notice a student having difficulty moving into a pose.

2. A student looks wobbly and needs help finding their point of balance.

3. You see a hyperextended knee or elbow and want to help the student avoid injury.

4. A student appears to need emotional support and encouragement.


If you are new to assisting or teaching yoga postures, you should ease into physical adjustments. Start with small corrections, like turning a foot in that is pointing outward or slightly moving hips forward. You may gently help a student find his or her edge. If you have new or injured students in a class, you may assist them by offering them props and showing them how to engage in modified postures.

As a rule, most yoga students welcome slight adjustments. Still, you should be fully aware of their body language. If you feel them tense up or they seem uncomfortable, then ask them if the adjustment feels better or worse. Never forget what is good for one is not good for all. By tuning into students on an individual level, you will be able to ascertain those who want to proceed on their own and those who would enjoy a little help.

© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division


Faye Martins is a certified Yoga teacher and an exclusive author for Aura Wellness Center.

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