Last updated on November 29th, 2023.
As a yoga teacher, you must know people who take yoga seriously. They live a yogic lifestyle: physical yoga practice, meditation, mindfulness, etc. Yet, they may be harming themselves through yoga.
Hear me out. Some yoga students may suffer from chronic aches and pains or even more severe injuries due to their yoga practice. Yes, it’s surprising, but not uncommon for those who practice yoga to notice twinges of aches or pains or who need to visit a doctor’s office for something even more severe.
Why does this occur? Well, even though yoga is about mindfulness, even some experienced yoga students forget this. They neglect their health to achieve the perfect pose, even if that pose may cause pain or make them uncomfortable.
If you’re wondering what you, as a teacher, can do about helping your students be mindful of their practice and their limits, you can do a lot. Being a yoga teacher means you have a responsibility to your students. To keep them safe and healthy.
The Best Yoga & Assists Workshops Online are:
A vital way to keep your students safe is to make sure they practice yoga poses safely. You can do this through pose adjustments and assists during your classes.
It would be best if you always kept an eye on your students to make sure they aren’t about to injure themselves.
If they continually pose dangerously, it’s up to you to gently correct their pose. One way you can do this is with a hands-on adjustment. Hands-on adjustments will not only keep your students safe, but they will also teach your students how to achieve a pose safely so that they eliminate the risk to their bodies.
Not only will adjusting your students allow you to remain mindful, but it will also enable your students to be aware of their limits and alignment. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!
How do you adjust yoga poses?
Teaching yoga is not just about directing students in and out of poses, guiding your students through relaxing meditation, and imparting classic yogic wisdom to your students.
One of the most critical parts of teaching yoga is for you to help keep your students safe.
Not only are you leading them through poses, but you are watching them to make sure their alignment is correct. Students can injure themselves if their alignment is wrong and they’re placing pressure on the bad part of the body.
You may also want to help students adjust their pose if they can push themselves farther and reach for their edge. Or if they are pushing themselves too far. A student may be unaware that they should not feel any pain while practicing. Yes, they may feel a strain, but they should back off if there’s any pain. You can help them back off.
In the article below, we’ll talk about why yoga teachers put their hands on their students when teaching them yoga.
We also will show you five different online yoga adjustment workshops. These classes will go past what you learned in your first 200-hour yoga teacher training. They will give you the valuable knowledge needed to empower yourself as a yoga teacher and your students so that they can practice safely and confidently.
Then, we talk in-depth about hands-on adjusting and what the concept of “hands-on” actually entails.
So, keep reading. You’ll broaden your knowledge as a yoga teacher and empower your students.
Why do Yoga Teachers touch you?
As yoga teachers walk a class, observing their students, they may feel the need to touch a student if they think the student is dangerously working on a pose. For instance, if a student is working on a lunge, but their knee is not at a 90-degree angle, they could cause their knee to have problems. A teacher will want to help the student correct this so they don’t injure their knee.
Or they may want to encourage students to bend farther or reach higher, to strive to find their edge. If a student is in Child’s Pose and their rear is up, a teacher may place their hands on the student’s tailbone to help them sink farther into the pose. Or, if a student is lifting their arms, the teacher may gently press down on their shoulders and physically encourage their arms to raise higher.
However, remember that the teacher may adjust a student to help them back off a pose. The student may try to bend farther than would be safe for their knees or back. The teacher should be aware of this to help the student achieve a safer stance quickly.
Adjustment touches are always light, never harsh or strong. An aggressive touch can not only scare the student. The teacher can also be hurt if the student falls on them. A teacher must be mindful of where the student’s limbs are, as teachers have been known to get kicked in the face or head if they are leaning down and not watching the student’s feet.
When not to perform a hands-on adjustment
Remember, some students don’t like to be touched and would rather the adjustments be verbal. This may be due to some past trauma that the student has lived through. You may want to learn how to teach trauma-informed yoga if you are working with students who may not want to be adjusted physically. Yoga teachers are able to adapt to those students by asking at the beginning of class if all students are OK with adjustments. They can let the students know that if they do not want physical adjustments, they can give the teacher a signal, like leaving a yoga blanket folded at the head of their mat.
Keep reading as we discuss the best yoga adjustment courses and workshops you can take online. Plus, we’ll go in-depth into hands-on adjustments, explaining precisely what a hands-on adjustment is.
For information on how to get a certification in trauma-informed yoga, see that article.
The best yoga adjustment courses and workshops online
Although your 200-hour yoga teacher training will discuss adjustments, you will be studying so many other yoga-related topics that you’ll only come away with basic knowledge of adjusting and assisting your future students.
Suppose you want to be a successful yoga teacher and feel confident that your students will stay safe in your class. In that case, it’s a good idea to further your knowledge of yoga adjustments and assist with an online yoga adjustment workshop.
An online yoga adjustment workshop will hone your skills and allow you to focus on adjustments for all body types and abilities.
So, look below at the five online yoga adjustment courses we’ve curated for you. We’ve looked at what these classes have to offer you and make you a stronger yoga teacher. We’ll discuss how long the courses will take and we’ll give you an overview of the course curriculum.
Studying yoga pose adjustments in depth will deepen your yoga knowledge and will be beneficial not only to your students’ practice, but even to your own practice.
1. Loka Yoga School: Yoga Mechanics Course
Loka Yoga School Yoga Mechanics is an internationally accredited, online self-paced training that delves into the science of yoga biomechanics. This course is ideal for yoga teachers and practitioners seeking to enhance their understanding of the physical benefits of yoga and elevate their teachings to a higher level. Whether you want to deepen your knowledge or explore the healing qualities of yoga for personal or professional growth, this training equips you with the necessary tools to feel and heal through the practice.
Key highlights of the Yoga Mechanics course:
- Understanding biomechanics. This training focuses on the study of biological systems, their structure, and function using mechanical principles. By delving into the science of biomechanics, you will gain insights into how forces impact the body’s motion.
- Busting myths and building knowledge. Many yoga teachers and practitioners lack a strong understanding of the human body, mobility, and biomechanics. This course dispels common myths associated with yoga poses and incorrect cues, empowering you to identify differences between tension and compression, stress and stretching, pain and discomfort.
- Empowering healing and teaching. Yoga Mechanics provides you with a toolbox of techniques, exercises, and functional movements that allow you to explore and heal your body at a deeper level. By incorporating these tools into your practice, you can also guide others towards healing and understanding their bodies better.
- Comprehensive self-paced training. With professional film, sound, and lighting quality, the course offers a wealth of content that exceeds what you’d typically find in an in-person training. As a self-paced course, the time taken to complete it will vary depending on each individual’s learning pace.
Why we love it
Unlock the science behind yoga and deepen your understanding of stretching and its impact on the body with Yoga Mechanics. Whether you are a yoga teacher seeking to enhance your teaching abilities or a student eager to explore the healing qualities of yoga, this course is your gateway to becoming a stronger, more knowledgeable, and compassionate yoga practitioner.
2. Soma Yoga Institute - Yoga Assists and Conscious Hands-on Adjustments Online CE and Yoga Teacher Training
Soma Yoga Institute’s yoga pose assists and adjustments course will give you video, slides, lectures, Q&A, discussion and homework actionable items to help you learn yoga alignment so that you can offer assists and adjustments to your yoga students.
Then, you’ll need to read the detailed instructions of each assist, watch a short 1-5 minute video and find a friend or relative to practice on!
What you’ll get in this online yoga adjustment workshop:
- 98 videos and over 10 hours of recorded content
- 15 Yoga Alliance Continuing Education credits upon completion of the course
- Exploration of 45 different poses and over 80 hands-on adjustments
- Over 10 hours of recorded content
- Exceptional verbal cues to accompany each physical adjustment
- A safety conscious, anatomical and bio-mechanically informed perspective
- Cautions and benefits associated with certain adjustments
- Application to a variety of body types
- Handouts for reminders and taking notes
- Access to Soma Yoga’s members-only Facebook group page for Q&A and informed discussions
- Lifetime Access to the class
3. Devalila Yoga: Hands-on Assisting for Yoga Teachers and Trainees
Devalila’s Yoga’s Hands-on Assisting for Yoga Teachers and Trainees program will teach you to be compassionate and careful, and how to ask for consent when doing hands-on yoga adjustments and assisting.
Devalila’s been teaching yoga for 27 years, and her class comes with a wealth of knowledge. Plus, some of the course materials you’ll receive are in Spanish, which will help if you teach Spanish-speaking students.
Course materials that you’ll get in the Hands-on Assisting for Yoga Teachers and Trainees class include:
- Audio Introduction and Tips to Ask for Consent and Feedback
- Handouts about Yoga Posture, Adjustments and Hands-on Assisting
- Videos on Body Mechanics, Breath, Leverage & Leaning
- English and Spanish Language PDF Book about Adjustments and Assisting
- Videos to Teach You To Assist on Standing, Seated, Floor, Back bending, Inversion, Relaxation, and Sun Salutation Poses
- Two Spanish Language Videos – El Guerrero 2 Espanol and La Rodilla Hacia El Pecho
After finishing the online yoga adjustment workshop, you’ll get a Certificate of Completions. Plus, you’ll have lifetime access to the course materials.
And, as a bonus, you can purchase the VIP Get Real Package which will give you one-on-one coaching online with Devalila.
4. Yogacara's Assisting and Adjusting for Yoga Teachers
This online yoga adjustment workshop is for yoga teachers wanting to deepen their skills in assisting techniques and created confident, compassionate hand-on practices.
Yogacara’s class includes video lessons as well as written information to help explain the intricacies of yoga adjustments and assists.
When you sign up for the class, you’ll learn:
- Assisting and Adjusting
- Intention and Action
- Using Props Intelligently
- How-To Adjust
- Challenges and Reminders
What is hands-on assist?
The human body is a delicate machine that can get injured easily if one part of the machine is out of alignment. In terms of doing yoga poses, if a yogi performs poses incorrectly, they have a good chance of injuring themselves due to not being in proper alignment.
As a yoga teacher, you will have students who may be new to yoga and may not fully understand how to achieve a specific pose.
Or you may have an experienced yoga student who has been doing a pose incorrectly all along.
In these cases, the yoga teacher will put their hands on the student to guide their limbs into place and correct their alignment.
But, it’s not just proper alignment that yoga teachers will correct with their students. Sometimes, an experienced yoga student will hold back. They won’t bend or reach as far as the yoga teacher knows that they can. So, in these cases, the teacher will physically help the student, through hand’s on adjusting, to reach farther or bend lower.
What hands-on means?
When a yoga teacher performs a hands-on assist, the term “hands-on” means that the teacher is actually touching the student in order to safely guide them into the correct pose.
As we said above, not all yoga students wish to be physically adjusted in a yoga class. You must always get consent before touching a student – you’ll learn how to do this in a yoga adjustments course – and you must back off the adjustment if the student asks you to stop touching them.
But, hands-on adjusting isn’t just about making sure your students are doing their poses correctly and to their abilities. A yoga teacher can’t just walk up to a willing student and start moving their limbs. The yoga teacher must make sure they are grounded to the earth. They must make sure their legs are in the right stance.
And, before a yoga teacher adjusts their student, they observe for a bit and match their breathing rhythm. In this way, the teacher will be able to have a matching rhythm with the movements of their student.
By match the breathing pace and rhythm of the student’s movement, the teacher will be able to do a seamless adjustment. An adjustment that will not jar the student out of their flow or pace.
And, when they make the actual adjustment, the teacher will need to make sure their hands are in the right place, so that they can perform the adjustment correctly.
So, your body’s alignment is just as important as your students’ alignment. If you are mindful of your alignment and breathing, you’ll be able to successfully help your students deepen their yoga practice.
We hope you will take away the information above about yoga adjustments so that you can broaden your yoga teaching career and confidently help your students successfully achieve even complex yoga poses.
We discussed the ways a yoga teacher will adjust their students’ poses. And, we discussed why teachers employ hands-on adjustments. Why adjustments?! Because deeper stretches, deeper practices work; that’s how Yoga Works! By going deeper into the topic of yoga adjustments, you’ll gain a much better understand of process and techniques.
Furthermore, we curated a list of five online yoga adjustment workshops, (wondering if online yoga teacher training is legit? check out that article to find out!) Now you’ll be able to learn how to safely help your students make adjustments to their poses from your own home on your own time.
And, because it may be a confusing, rather new topic for you, we go deep to discuss what a hands-on assist actually is, including the meaning of the term, “hands-on.”
We hope you take this information with you and that you find the online yoga adjustment workshop that’s right for you!