This is a topic I struggled with in the beginning of my yoga teacher training. I had a trainer who was a strong advocate of hands-on adjustments. I kept listening and learning, but as I moved through training, I became more and more OPPOSED to adjustments.
I now have over 800 hours of training and have taught over 800 classes and . . .
I do NOT physically adjust students in my group yoga classes.
I never have.
- I can’t possibly know all the health conditions and/or injuries of all the students in any given class.
- There’s benefit to a student finding depth in a pose over time, on his/her own, and at his/her own pace. That’s the practice of yoga. It’s not my job to force it.
- I’m not smarter than my students, especially when it comes to their bodies. As a teacher, I’m a guide. That’s it.
The yoga industry would state that teachers should receive proper training and certification before offering physical adjustments to students. But what is the “proper training and certification”? As if there’s some universal level or magic number and “Poof!” . . . you’re now qualified to be in charge of someone else’s body?
The only time I ever interfere with a student’s practice in a group class is if I see a something that could result in injury. And even then, I offer a verbal cue or demonstration to guide them towards safety. Because there’s also the issue of consent. But that’s a topic for another day.