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Ecstatic Yoga Immersions

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 Immersions Directory

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Asana II 
EY Asana II, Cue, Adjust, Modify Lesson

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EY Asana 2 Cueing, Adjustments & Modifications


We will use our analytics model to help us master cueing, adjusting and modifying yoga poses. Setting the foundation, then moving the body into proper alignment, then engaging the lines of energy, bandhas & breath. In this class we will cover three areas for cueing, adjusting and offering some new yoga pose modifications.


-Personal Presence & Guidelines for Cueing Students

-Guidelines for Hands on Adjustments for Yoga Students

-Modifications of Yoga Poses


Personal Presence & Guidelines for Cueing Students


To begin this class, I would like to talk about our personal presence as a yoga instructor. Your personal presence as a yoga instructor is that unsaid energy of connection with your students that will allow them to feel safe with you. We all have a voice of self-judgment and a voice of personal power within the same one mind. Ongoingly strengthening the voice of personal power, self love and acceptance is a practice for yoga instructors as we step into leading others. The more we feed our personal power and starve self judgments, the more powerfully we can lead others.

Yoga is to yoke, to become one, listen to one voice, that voice of truth, that voice of peace, to know the deeper unchanging eternal aspect of what you truly are, is a part of one unified Mind, one with all life, as all life, for all life, with all life. It is a type of growing up, maturing into adulthood to let go of listening to the part of the mind that judges and distorts the truth and finally listen to only the voice of empowerment. A great way to determine if you are listening to the voice of Spirit or the voice of ego is to know that anything the mind tells you that upsets your peace coming from the ego, the past or future. If the voice within brings a sense of peace and alignment, truth about it… then you know you are listening to the voice of love, Self, God. It is time listen to ONE voice… the voice of truth, the voice of love, the voice of peace.

Some ways to connect with personal power with your students is to get to know them, to point out positive things about them, provide affirmations, be present, be ok with the process… BE WILLING TO EXPRESS YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF!

Becoming a yoga instructor you will find your unique style.  Speak from your heart, teach what you know, what you love about yoga. You will allow a wisdom from within your soul to arise as you teach. Show your students your uniqueness and allow yourself to be as BIG as life itself.


Your Unique Voice as a Yoga Instructor


Setting the space

Creating a safe, inviting and comfortable space. Choose music you love, make sure the space is clean, maybe have essential oils or insence, and set the lighting to match the class. 

Be sure to let students know about your studio, where the rest rooms are, where they can store their shoes and personal items, changing rooms, showers, and where water is available.


Build Rapport with Student

  • Show confidence by having your class prepared.

  • Common Ground; let students become aware that you share common struggles, desires, concerns and visions.

  • Be relaxed and authentically enjoy connecting with your students, they will feel it.

  • Share your story and personal style

  • Humor; use humor to create a sense of relaxation, bringing in fun and spontaneity.

  • Share new learning experiences and life lessons

  • Ask students questions about themselves

  • Invite students to think and connect lessons with their personal lives.

  • Listen to students, get to know them and do your best to fulfill their needs.

  • Make your students feel important and valued.

  • Use eye contact and good body language to make students feel welcome and safe.


Demonstrating a pose

As you teach in front of a class of students there are a few items that are helpful to ensure your class goes smoothly and the students get the best experience.

  • Make sure you are visible, preferably to all the students. Sometimes this may be difficult, in that case do your best to be visible to as many students as possible. You can also demonstrate a pose in the front of the room and later move and demonstrate the pose at another location.

  • Name the pose, try to give both English and Sanscrit when possible.

  • Demonstrate new or advanced poses first before inviting students to practice the pose. Invite students to watch your body rather than your face as you demonstrate a new pose.

  • Offer modifications or props for the pose.

  • Use the same steps and prompts for instruction as you used in demonstration.


Keys to Verbal Correction

  • Be sure you can see all your students and they can see you.

  • Watch for students’ response’s, are they getting into the pose correctly?

  • Observe body language, eyes, facial expressions, noticing their state of being as well as the structure of the pose.

  • Observe students from different angles without pacing the room.

  • Notice the lines of the body to catch anything out of alignment.

  • Use verbal corrections, with an approving tone.

  • Begin with verbal corrections for the foundation of a pose (Where their body is connected to earth) Kindly inviting them to adjust their body to move into the proper foundation for the pose.

  • Once they correct themselves add an approving statement “That looks great” “Your foundation is perfect” “Much better”

  • Offer verbal corrections for alignment, kindly inviting them to adjust their alignment.

  • Offer positive words for corrected alignment “You look great” “Beautiful alignment”

  • Invite them to engage the line of energy of the pose.

  • Inviting them to engage their bandhas and add the breath.




Yoga Group Lessons

Occasionally in a yoga class you can discuss a yoga lesson either at the beginning or toward the end of a class. Below are some suggestions for personal power in group yoga lessons.

-Draw the group together and provide a short informative lesson.

-Encourage presence with eye contact and engaging in comments and questions after.

­-Ask if everyone understands or if there are any questions.

-Listen sincerely to comments and questions, repeating questions so the entire class hears.

-Guide the class to learn from one another.

-Express gratitude and appreciation for sharing and exploring together, invite everyone to get involved.

-Some valuable comments; “Thank you for that question” “Has anyone else had a similar experience” “Could you share more about that?” “What a great perspective” “Can anyone else relate?”



In Patanjali’s yoga sutras Sutra 2.46 states “sthira sukham asanam” which means “Stability and ease in every pose”


Guidelines for Hands On Adjustments for Yoga Students

In this day and age I find it better to protect yourself as a yoga instructor and avoid hands on adjustments. However, with proper insurance, student permission both verbal and written and done gently, correctly and safely it can be helpful for students to be guided to embody the pose more deeply. The intention of a hands on adjustment can be to deepen the pose, align the pose, integrate and stabilize the pose, or even back off.

Adjustment Benefits

  • Correcting physical mis-alignment of a pose

  • Correcting and safety pre-cautions of a pose

  • Assisting body ease and correct posture of a pose

  • Assisting a student in deepening into a pose

  • Providing support for a student to engage the correct intention or line of energy of a pose.

  • Providing muscle memory for proper

  • Inviting a student to slow down and become more present in a pose

  • Creating connection and support

  • Helping a student to relax deeper into the pose


If you can get the result by verbally cueing the student, always do that first.


Golden Rule

Golden Rule for hands on adjustments: Always receive the student’s permission to touch and adjust them both verbal and written. Never touch a student without permission to do so, and when they decline, honor that decision. Have it in writing, in their original paperwork they sign before class.

Opting In; “I will be providing hands on adjustments today, please raise your hand if you are wanting adjustments” students will raise their hands if they are ok with hands on adjustments… giving students the opportunity to opt in. REMEMBER who raised their hands and who didn’t. Also, even for those who raised their hands, it is important to know that students’ moods can change from pose to pose, so even for those whom raised their hands, or you recently adjusted get their permission again. If you see an opportunity to provide some hands on assistance before you touch them again ask “May I adjust you?”

Opting Out; Some yoga instructors find it easier to offer students the ability to opt out of being adjusting. This can often be easier because more students generally want to be adjusted or are ok with adjustments than not, less opt outers to remember. “I will be offering hands on adjustments during our yoga class today. Please raise your hand if for any reason you prefer to not receive assistance. I will respect your space.”


Know what to adjust

Don’t play any guessing games when it comes to touching student’s bodies. Know exactly what needs adjusting and how you will do that before you touch a student’s body. If you are hesitant or unsure in any way, don’t adjust. Not only could you hurt the student, also, they can pick up on our hesitancy and that would make them feel unsafe.


Combination of touch and cueing

A little goes a long way… you don’t want to do the pose for the student, you only want to offer very gently touch to guide them into the proper alignment or depth of the pose. A gently touch with a small amount of cueing will be of more value than a deep adjustment. Ultimately your goal is that your student’s gain muscle memory and natural knowing with only a small amount of cueing and adjustments. The body remembers far easier than the brain.


Keep communication open during adjustments

Also, as you are adjusting it is often helpful to let them know what you are doing and use verbal prompts. This will help the student you are assisting as well as the entire class. “Square your hips” as you adjust the hips helps remind all the students to square the hips. Invite the student to communicate with you (Often students need an invitation or otherwise wouldn’t communicate) Ask them “How does that feel?” “Is this feeling good?”

Be sure to not get too engrossed in helping one student that you forget the rest of the class. It wouldn’t work well if you were helping one student and the rest of the class was in an inversion for far too long. Keep mindful of the student you are adjusting as well as the entire class as a whole.

Be very positive and let students know it is fine, you totally approve if they opt out of hands on assists. Even if a student gave written permission to be adjusted and if asked at the beginning of class and they respond “No” don’t be offended, don’t take it personally. Give them full permission and full acceptance to choose either way. If it feels important you can always after class have a conversation with a student about their change of mind in an approving fashion.

It is best to adjust/assist students from behind as a general rule, however, always approach a student where they can see you. If their eyes are closed or down, verbally cueing the class is a way to let a student know where you are. Before adjusting a student always state “May I adjust you?” If a student doesn’t know you are there and you just touch them, it can startle them. Once you receive permission, then it is ok to stand behind them and adjust the pose.