I continuously hear horror stories of students being hurt in yoga adjustments.

It’s very sad because it is unnecessary!

I studied full time for 6 years, paid $50K and continue to invest $3K+ and many hours of study every year to have the privilege to ‘adjust’ my patients.

Perhaps yoga teachers do not understand or appreciate what a huge privilege it is to be able to put our hands on another person and adjust them.

(So now we call them ‘assists’ but that is only semantics. We still do the same things and there is no point in doing them if they do not assist!)

My fear is that we will lose that privilege.

The problem is systemic in the Ashtanga Vinyasa community because how to adjust postures has been handed down from the source who were not educated in human anatomy or biomechanics.

Many experienced teachers believe that they already know how to adjust and so do not seek out any further education on anatomy, biomechanics and especially not on other ways of adjusting.

And then the problem is perpetuated because students usually do not tell their teacher that they have hurt them.

But they tell their therapist! Or the next teacher they go to…

The result is that less students do Mysore-style classes and less teachers put their hands on students.

Considering that touch is the most superior form of communication and education and is also a magnificent healer, this is a huge deterioration in the teaching and learning of āsana.

It can happen that even the best educated teacher hurts a student. And sometimes students get hurt doing āsana without anyone touching them. Sometimes an injury is just waiting to happen because of existing imbalances in our body. And certainly, no teacher has the intention to hurt a student.

All the more reasons why we need to take our duty of care seriously and educate ourselves so that we have done all we can to prevent injury.

The way I adjust and teach has changed greatly over the years, heavily influenced by my understanding of the human body, how joints move, the nature of the different bodily tissues and sadly… how students get injured.

We need our adjustments to be refined and intelligent and to accommodate different bodies that they are beneficial and harmoniously received.