I just came across an article about a man suing a yoga studio in Boulder, California over an unwanted adjustment in class. This leads me to thinking about how I feel whenever the teachers come to adjust me. For me, it is a matter of trust; I would only allow an experienced teacher to adjust me as I would have confidence that he or she would not pushed me beyond my body’s limit which might end up injuring me. Teachers do adjustments by using their hands and sometimes even their body to help with your alignment or to get you deeper into a pose. If you are not comfortable to being touched, tell the teacher before the start of the class. And if you feel pain during an adjustment, tell the teacher to ease off or stop.
As I have been practicing with Azmi and Lila for so long now, they have got to know my body very well as they know how much deeper to push my body into a pose and when I need help to get an extra stretch. During an adjustment by the teacher, it is very important that you work with your breath as it creates awareness. You become more in tune with your body and you will find yourself going deeper into the pose as you relax. A good adjustment should not cause you tension and pain. If you feel your breath getting shallow, jagged or held, it is your body telling you that you have gone beyond your limit as the body will tighten to protect itself. Always listen to your body, no matter what the teacher might say as you will only benefit from the yoga asanas if you feel good in them. There is good pain and bad pain doing a yoga asana. A good pain is one where you stretch beyond your comfort zone and challenge yourself to explore your flexibility while a bad pain is one where you go beyond your body's limit and end up injuring yourself.
“Practicing asanas began to teach me about myself. The body is such a great school of learning. It makes you pay attention.” Lilias Folan