Adi-Yoga and Asana Adjustments
Adi-Yoga has a Unique View on Hands-on Adjustments in Yoga Classes
Attend a Yoga class in America today and you are very likely to receive a hands-on “adjustment” or “assist” from the instructor while you practice. Physical adjustments have become a cornerstone of modern Hatha Yoga classes. In this context many students are surprised by the absence of hands-on guidance in Adi-Yoga classes; and if they have grown accustomed to this type of instruction, there may be a period of adjustment to the methodology of Adi-Yoga.< !--more-->
There are a few important reasons why Adi-Yoga instructors intentionally take the approach of not touching you while you practice. To begin, we need to understand what’s happening in a Hatha Yoga asana.
An asana (often translated as “posture” or “pose”) is an arrangement of our physical body parts into the approximation of a form in space, undertaken in order to channel energy in a particular way. There are many asana which look aesthetically magnificent when performed by the young and lithe. But does an asana need to look impressive to yield the desired result? According to Adi-Yoga, this result is not necessarily found in the most astounding physical position. Rather, it is there anytime the energy channels are the most open, and the practitioner experiences complete and pervasive sensation.
The notion of “fixing” an asana implies some brokenness. In over a decade of instructing I have only seen a few times when a verbal cue, or a demonstration, didn’t do the trick to help someone figure out what to do with their body. Sometimes a part of the body isn’t ready to “hear” the instruction. Manually adjusting that body part might bring it into a visually pleasing arrangement, but it won’t wake up the cellular consciousness or clear out the energetic obstacles that prevented that alignment in the first place. Only the application of time and practice will make those changes. When that change happens from within – that is the unfolding of Yoga.