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Hands-on July 18, 2008

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Last night was the first time I taught since the accident. I knew I wouldn’t be able to do the poses like I normally do, but I had no idea I wouldn’t be able to do hand-on adjustments. It came to me as a surprise the first time I bent over to place my hands on a student’s back while in a seated forward fold. My neck immediately tightened and I felt like I couldn’t move. I had no problems standing or walking with my head straight, but bending over caused my head to fold forward, which brought about a great deal of pain.

It made me realize the importance of touch in a yoga class. Sure there are some people who have space issues and don’t want to be touched, but connecting with your students is very important and the best way to truly connect is person to person. When you lay your hands on someone you are not only energetically encouraging the students to adjust their alignment, you are giving them prana and prana is energetic love.

There are minor chakras in the palms of your hands so when you lay your hands upon a student you are sharing a piece of yourself…you are sharing love and compassion…two ingredients for a sweet practice. As humans, we were meant to be touched and loved in a gentle loving way. Our humanity depends upon it. Studies have shown that love can heal and yoga is about healing the body…loving the body…being kind and compassionate to the body.

I wouldn’t want to teach yoga if I couldn’t be myself and incorporate a loving heart in to the practice. It just wouldn’t seem right to me. It felt really weird walking around class last night verbally directing my students from one asana to the next without being able to get in close and share the love. It felt foreign and strange. I have a new appreciation for hands-on and look forward to healing so I can once again share the gift of touch…it is truly a healing art.

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