Yoga class should be an enjoyable and uplifting experience. It should leave you feeling better and more energized than when you first stepped into the studio.
There are many aspects to yoga classes, and hands-on assists are one tool that instructors use to enhance their practice and your personal experience. If you’re someone who prefers not to have hands-on assists, remember to arrive early to class to speak to your yoga instructor about it.
What is the Reasoning Behind Hands-On Assists?
A hands-on yoga assist is the physical act of stretching, moving, pressing, or touching someone while they’re in a yoga posture and intentionally takes them deeper into a pose and corrects misalignments.
Hands-on assists are used in order to help students find better alignment, extension, and greater stability. They are tools to help students have better access to certain poses so that they are benefiting as much as possible from each movement. Not only do hands-on assists improve movement, but they reduce the risk of potential injury as well.
The wonderful part about hands-on assists is that they can transform a student’s journey as they enter, experience, and leave poses. They also eliminate unnecessary struggling so that students can enjoy a safer and more rewarding experience.
Not Everyone is Comfortable with Assists
Touch is an intimate act, and in some cases, can be a harmful trigger.
Yoga class should be a safe space for you to relax, rejuvenate and re-connect with yourself and your body. We are all unique in our own way. We come from different walks of life and different backgrounds. Something that you’re comfortable with might make someone else very uncomfortable, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, which is why it’s important to speak with your instructor prior to class if you do not want to receive hands-on-assists.
Some students have gone through incredibly traumatic experiences throughout the course of their lives, so having instructors give hands-on assistance brings back painful memories. The bottom line is hands-on assists should never be a painful experience. Remember, it’s important to notify your instructor of your concerns, so that they can be aware of your needs. Yoga class should be a positive experience for you as well as for your instructor.
What You Should Expect in Class
Instructors use hands-on assists for a variety of reasons, whether it’s for greater stability or to help you through certain poses. Most yoga instructors will ask for consent before class begins, but some will not. If an instructor does not ask if you’d like hands-on assists, then it’s up to you to voice your preference.
Every instructor is different, and they all have different methods they like to use. Some instructors might ask you to raise your hand at the beginning of class if you’d prefer to opt out of hands on-assists. Others instructors will use cards or give you a prop to place at the edge of your yoga mat to indicate your preference.
We want you to be comfortable. Please arrive early to class and speak with your instructor if you’d rather not have hands-on assists.