YJ Entry #24 ~ Tuesday, September 30th at 10:30 p.m. ~ Austin
My second workshop with Amy Ippoliti ~ a half-day intensive on Thursday ~ was a teacher training: “Hands on Adjustments that will Rock Your Students’ World.” A brief recap: we reviewed the different reasons for adjustments:
- Opening (or feel good)
Next we covered the principles:
In Anusara Yoga, adjustments are considered enhancements, not corrections.
Amy Ippoliti Teaches Hands On Adjustments
One of the major points I took away from the class is the importance of observation before “moving in.” As a teacher, you want to look at where energy is flowing and where it is blocked. (The Sanskrit word for these blocks of energy is “granthi.”) When you go to make an adjustment, you want to see what is more open and what is blocked, then make an adjustment in a way that opens the blockage.
“The difference between a helping hand and an outstretched palm is a twist of the wrist.” ~ Laurence Leamer, King of the Night
Amy emphasized that teachers should always start first with a verbal adjustment first before moving in physically. Students are more empowered in this way. The remainder of the class focused on pose specific adjustments. Amy walked us through the techniques of various adjustments and then allowed us to practice on one another.
Moving the armbone back to create greater freedom in Trikonasana
As Amy supports the head with her thigh, notice her student’s relaxed face!
One of the adjustments that I liked the best (from a student’s perspective) was in Parsvokonasana. The teacher takes the hand of the extended arm and presses strongly back against it. This allowed me to spin my torso more fully open and up to the sky. It was great freedom.
An Adjustment for Greater Opening
Can you say, “Not a casual thing?”
We also worked with handstands, and Amy showed us a way to assist someone who is working in the prep stage of an L at the wall. You help them keep their shoulder blades firmly on their back as they learn to trust their own strength.
Amy Demoing with DJ: Prep ~ Downward Dog at the Wall
Keeping the Shoulder Blades on the Back as he comes up
Providing an assist to keep the hips lifting
Amy also emphasized the importance for the TEACHER to personally use good alignment. Not only does this protect the teacher’s body, but it also allows relatively small teachers to assist much larger people with confidence and biomechanical advantage. No where was this more obvious than when Amy took Kevin up in full handstand AWAY from the wall. Check it out!
Holding steady at the hips in Adho Mukha Vrksasana
Lots more poses, assists, notes and photos, but I’m hoping our dear friend Amy will do us all a service and compile a book on this! It was a great class with great teachings. My deepest gratitude.
Go Amy, Go!
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Updated 9/30/08 ~ Just In … See the video of the beautiful (and very petite) Acro-Yogini as she “flys” Shantala’s very talented (and very large) Benjy Wertheimer filmed at the Anusara Grand Gathering Talent Show on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 at Estes Park. (Video clip compliments of my friend Jesse of the aforementioned “Jesse’s Girls” fame!)