I was updating my First Aid Training yesterday and when it was time to put people in the recovery position, you could see everyone feeling awkward about touching other people and moving their body in the correct position.
I personally didn’t think twice about it as I’m so familiar with being adjusted in different yoga postures as well as touching my students and adjusting them. So the sense of touch is something I do with ease.
As an Ashtangi, touch is part and parcel of the practice. If you want to progress, be prepared to have your teacher shift and assist you to a fuller expression of the pose or assist you to go a little further. A place where you perhaps thought you could never go.
Touch is able to move you emotionally from one place to another too. Have you ever noticed the power of a loved ones touch? It has the ability to shift you from being upset or angry to a calmer place.
This is one thing that I love about the Ashtanga Mysore method (self practice with guidance of a teacher); you are working at your own pace but have the expertise of a teacher to take you from where you are at, to a deeper place.
So many people say to me “I can’t do yoga because I’m not flexible”. It’s quite interesting how we think we have to already be good at something in order to even give it a first attempt! It’s quite odd really!
Practicing yoga makes you more flexible. That’s why it’s called a practice.
After over 14 years of practice, I still feel like a beginner – why? Because the yoga practice is so deep and we know that we only scratch the surface in one life time!
I practiced this morning with a dear teacher of mine who first adjusted me 14 years ago…. and today when the same hands shifted my body to go deeper in the posture, I was reminded of the importance of touch in the practice.
It also made me realise how touch is lacking in so many yoga classes. I’ve been to many open classes where I am touched perhaps once or not at all. Or the touch is very subtle that I feel it hasn’t shifted me at all.
Also, when you have a regular home self practice for so long, it is touch that I really miss! It’s always a privilege to be adjusted by a teacher.
So teachers, enjoy adjusting your students! Be confident when doing so 🙂
And students, be open to having your body shifted into different shapes.
I love the following peace mantra as it defines what a yoga teacher can help guide her students to:
Tamasoma jyotir gamaya
Om, shanti shanti shanti
Lead me from the unreal to the real
Lead me from darkness to the light
From the earth to the open skies
Lead from death to eternal life
Om, peace peace peace
Does your yoga practice lead you from darkness to light?
Can you identify ways it has helped you through challenges in your life?
Maybe start making some observations around the sense of touch with your loved ones and how it binds you to them.
If you have a yoga practice, how do you feel about being adjusted by your teacher?
Please feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Keep up the practice! All is coming 🙂