Instagram post by @markrobberds Mark Robberds

In this day and age of modern postural yoga, one of the big questions that we need to ask as teachers, is what is the place of “hands on adjustments”? Firstly, as asana teachers we are also placed in an ambiguous relationship with our students, as we may have become a role model for them, and are therefore in a position of responsibility and power on a psychological and emotional level, requiring something of us that is beyond the knowledge of asanas. This is perhaps the most difficult aspect of being a modern yoga teacher - particularly if your classes involve hands on adjustments, as the human body is a storehouse of emotional trigger points. As can be seen in this video there needs to be a lot of trust in order to go into these zones (by the way I was actually practicing when @martimegghi asked for this assist - hence I wasn’t wearing a shirt).
Secondly, in terms of finding Yoga - steadiness and comfort - in asana, then there needs to be a balance of strength and flexibility. In order to be pain free, the student must have sufficient active flexibility and end range control.
I know Martina well enough to know that she has both of these, and actually she could go much deeper than she has here, but I do not want to take her to her end range. Actually my goal is to get her to do this movement by herself. In the meantime, partner or teacher assisted adjustments like this, can help train the nervous system to understand the movement on a visceral level, and with the correct approach, adaptation will take place until less and less assistance is needed.
What has any of this got to do with the goal of Yoga? Do adjustments have a place in modern postural yoga? These are good questions to be asking.

104 Comments

  • 9w ago lesliestorms lesliestorms

    In my humble opinion - adjustments are a must. I have too much to say - this topic has struck a deep nerve within me. 🙏

  • 9w ago erfyoga erfyoga

    😍😍😍

  • 9w ago buerkirosa buerkirosa

    Wow I want too 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼😲😲

  • 9w ago cyoshida cyoshida

    Or ask if these deep postures have a place in modern yoga? 🤔

  • 9w ago spiritual_bish spiritual_bish

    I can’t imagine going to my Shala to practice and my teacher not giving me adjumnents! I would have never learned supta-kurmasana!! 😂😂

  • 9w ago aw_yoga aw_yoga

    brilliant post :)

  • 9w ago flawless76 flawless76

    Nowayy my body can do that

  • 9w ago wang4303 wang4303

    I miss ur dropback!

  • 9w ago guendolyn_joy guendolyn_joy

    ...I believe there’s a lot we don’t see on our own and that teachers help us see... same for adjustments (I like better the word assists)

  • 9w ago guendolyn_joy guendolyn_joy

    @sandrawilliamsd 😂

  • 9w ago scienceandyoga scienceandyoga

    My question would be, what is the Point of taking the body to those limits? And how healthy is it for the body (joins,ligaments, meniscs,discs,etc) after days, months or Years of practice? Is it really worth it the possibility of getting an arthrosis or an hernia because of this microtraumatisms!?

  • 9w ago ciaobella.99 ciaobella.99

    @flora_gouveia

  • 9w ago _xtina_marie_ _xtina_marie_

    @anthony21287

  • 9w ago cachou_photographie_ cachou_photographie_

    @rakshabhide I personally will never attempt this pose. But sometimes being able to do a pose once thought to be unachievable leads to the discovery that we can overcome hardship and fear with hard work and teacher insight. It gives the confidence to navigate life a tad easier and maybe is helping finding a higher path. Of course we need to keep the ego on check

  • 9w ago wavesofsand wavesofsand

    @the_vegan_ant

  • 9w ago the_vegan_ant the_vegan_ant

    @wavesofsand that’s scary 😱

  • 9w ago wavesofsand wavesofsand

    @the_vegan_ant that’s the result of many years of constant practice and a deep understanding of one’s body. I can’t wait to practise with Mark + Deepika again and maybe one day I’ll be able to catch too! 🙈😄 But us for now... wheels... (or full bridge).

  • 9w ago the_vegan_ant the_vegan_ant

    @wavesofsand wheel for me 😂

  • 9w ago nikkiyogaodyssey nikkiyogaodyssey

    @markrobberds do you do adjustment workshops by any chance?

  • 8w ago markrobberds markrobberds

    @nikkiyogaodyssey no plans for one at the moment 🙏

  • 8w ago markrobberds markrobberds

    @wang4303 coming to Bali this year?

  • 8w ago markrobberds markrobberds

    @lesliestorms good questions 🙏

  • 8w ago markrobberds markrobberds

    @pault8_upsidedown yeh brother it’s hard to fit it all in! Hope to see you somewhere this year 🙌🏼

  • 8w ago markrobberds markrobberds

    @pilar_islandyoga miss you too!

  • 8w ago wang4303 wang4303

    @markrobberds sure see u in the summer! Can’t wait~~🙏🙏

  • 8w ago iamsvppat1 iamsvppat1

    @jalayoga.co that's how it's done!

  • 8w ago yogasouthcrete yogasouthcrete

    Love when you say that your goal is that you help her to do this movement by herself!!! Amazing approaching and adjustment!!!

  • 8w ago entanglednerves entanglednerves

    @markrobberds you might literally laugh at me while reading this but nevertheless I'd put it here. So being someone who's lived all his life in India, I totally understand that there are very few countries like India where there is a strict dress code on women thanks to the age old patriarchal bullshit (pardon my language). But I somehow feel that yoga classes that conduct Ashtanga yoga having a certain dress code would be healthy. Because 1) Ashtanga yoga is not as much of profusely sweating shit as "Bikram Yoga" which was invented by a perverted Indian "yoga guru". 2) Men no matter Indian, American or Australian will remain MEN. So if you see a fully nude or half nude woman, you will get distracted and if given an opportunity to touch then they'd go bonkers. Some would hold restraint, others won't. Simple! In your case you respect your female students (no matter what they wear) I know but that's not the case with most other male yoga teachers. No wonder Pattabhi Jois was branded a pervert by few of his female students from the West.

  • 8w ago entanglednerves entanglednerves

    And I firmly think that the Ashtanga yoga teachers need to discuss on this topic with some of the finest Gymnastics trainers coz the modern day "Ashtanga yoga" is nothing more than contorting oneself on the mat and calling it "spiritual" isn't it?

  • 8w ago lunabastuni lunabastuni

    Love this

  • 8w ago hollywoodhoy hollywoodhoy

    says.....@joerogan

  • 8w ago timothyalira timothyalira

    Looking for people on this new project. Drop me a message

  • 8w ago amara_yoga amara_yoga

    Thanks so much Mark for opening this kind of questions...For me, this is the way to help students to find their way with love and compassion....🌄💙💙💙🌻

  • 8w ago melania.lysa melania.lysa

    Hiks..qta terllu tuwa bwt ginian ya @vivin.kardo ..iso ceklek balungku 😣

  • 8w ago vivin.kardo vivin.kardo

    @melania.lysa wakakakaka

  • 8w ago zakkyoga zakkyoga

    🌿🙏🏽☀️

  • 5w ago monn_cheri monn_cheri

    @adellbridges will you help me out with this on your workshop?😂❤️

  • 5w ago larossi995999 larossi995999

    INSANE...very hard to do it.Woaw

  • 3w ago alphaomegayoga alphaomegayoga

    @markrobberds I love your critical of modern westernized yoga ans traditional practice. It is good to always question why we do certain things and also sometimes to leave questions open for everyone to decide for themselves. I feel ambivalent towards adjustments. The first challenge is that a lot of teachers do not ask for consent before going hands on. How many times have I been touched without the teacher asking for permission before? I do love good adjustments and for me touch can be something healing - but it needs to be in a place of respect and trust. Some teachers are so motivated to get their students deeper into a posture and hence more towards an ‚advanced‘ practice that they tend to forget about this simple element.
    Cause there are days when -in the students role- I feel like receiving a little help in my practice and some days when I just want to be left alone because I am very much busy with my own thoughts and don’t feel in a comfortable space.
    In the role of the teacher I ask my students to give me a sign (e.g. hand on the heart) if they prefer only verbal adjustments for the practice while everyone has their eyes closed in the beginning of the class. This way I feel everyone can feel comfortable to give me a ‚no‘ - but at the same time I am wondering if that consent should be asked for before every adjustment rather than at the start of the class. How do you manage this? Or question to all teachers and students alike - how do you prefer being asked for consent?

Most Popular Instagram Hashtags