Finally! We learned modifications and adjustments today! I have been anticipating this for a long time. One of my favorite things about yoga is being adjusted by the teacher. It feels great! I’ve been wanting to give back with that, but had no idea how to do it well or safely. Today was the day!
JB was back with us, for the last time, and led us all through a modified flow with specific attention paid to wrists, shoulders, knees, hips and lower back. It was interesting to go through all the modifications and realize just how many I did when I first started to learn yoga. Knee down in cresent lunge, knees down in chaturanga, and shortening my stance in the warriors. At the time, I didn’t even realize they were modifications — I thought they were the real pose. LOL! But that mentality really helped. It kept me from being overwhelmed and forced me to work at a safe pace until my body built up the strength and flexibility to carry me safely through the flow.
We broke into groups of four and taught each other the flow with adjustments. After getting over my initial fear of hurting someone or being too forceful, it felt really good to get in there and help someone relax into the pose. Sutra II,47 in the Yoga Sutras says that
“Yoga pose is mastered
by relaxation of effort,
lessening the tendency
for restless breathing,
and promoting an identification
of oneself as living within
the infinite breath of life.”
Adjusting people to get them more comfortably into the poses resonates with this. Once you’re comfortably in the pose, you can breath. In yoga, it’s all about the breath. Breath is power, energy, life. It feels good to know that I can help someone achieve this with just my hands and words. Feels a bit like a superhero moment: “with great power comes great responsibility.”
Now it’s time for a shower, a snack, and some meditation. I recently got Anodea Judith’s Chakra Balancing kit and am excited to try out one of her guided meditations.