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January 14, 2011

Question for Yoga Teachers: Why Do You Adjust?

Is it just my ego? Or am I being adjusted way more than normal?

So, uh, maybe this is a stupid question…but why do you adjust me so much? No, no, I love adjustments, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that, well, I seem to get adjusted way more than anyone else. Why?

This is the question I’ve been wanting to ask my yoga instructors over the past month. (And I ask it here because I suspect that others sometimes wonder the same thing.) How do you choose who to adjust? Why me? What am I doing wrong? Do I suck? Am I blatantly wrong? Am I glaringly tight? Do I look like I’m trying too hard? Am I embarrassing myself?

Perhaps it’s just my ego talking here, but I’ve noticed that I get adjusted. A lot. I thought maybe I was just having selective attention: only noticing when I got adjusted and not when others did. So I started keeping a tally. Yep, I started counting up all the times a pair of hands would press down on my sacrum to get my heels to the floor. “That’s three,” I would say internally as an instructor would twist what I thought were already very-much-in-line hips. “Five…” as an instructor would say, “Come out for a second, now tuck your tailbone under, now straighten your legs,” and with satisfaction in their voice drift away saying “Much better, good job.”

This is what I got after tallying my adjustments to others: I get adjusted as much – if not more – than all the other participants combined in a five-person class. Save for the class yesterday when a woman was very vocal about how she couldn’t get into almost any position, I get prodded, twisted, pushed, pulled, exhorted and tapped so much more than anyone else. I am not a beginner. In down dog I pull my shoulder blades down my back, rotate my arms, shove the floor away, push my butt up toward the back corner, put my heels down to the floor, suck in my stomach, and relax my head. And yet…oh, here comes the instructor to push me down further. Thank you, I appreciate it, but….what about her? Or him? That girl over there? How about the show-off at the front?

When my boyfriend took his first class, he got some personalized attention. But so did I. It was a humbling experience. Always the optimist, he told me that he thinks it’s because I’m so darn good, they just want to get me the last 10% of the way there. He observed in his drawing classes that instructors will be drawn to the best artists in giving advice. Thanks sweetie, but I’m not sure that is it…

So could you instructors out there shed some light on this, both for me and other students who have felt singled out? What draws you to adjusting to one person over another? I’m ready for whatever you can dish out.

BTW, that’s me in downward dog above.

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