085: A Discussion About Hands-On Assists with Amanda Kingsmith and Shannon Crow
Do you offer your students hands-on assists or adjustments or do you steer clear of touch in a yoga class?
Amanda Kingsmith invited Shannon back on the M.B.OM podcast to talk about hands-on assists (sometimes called adjustments).
Amanda is a yoga teacher with a business studies background. She works 1:1 with yoga teachers and hosts two podcasts – one about travel and the other for yoga teachers. She is an enthusiastic world traveler when she is not at home in Alberta, Canada.
[6:10] Shannon shares her thoughts on the importance of trauma training for yoga teachers, especially in regards to using touch within a yoga class.
[11:58] Amanda introduces Shannon and the topic of discussion today – adjustments or hands-on assists.
[13:34] Shannon learned to love hands-on assists through learning Thai Yoga Massage. She talks about how she brought this training to her yoga classes and how that has changed over time.
[14:10] The reason why Shannon switched her language to ‘assists’ instead of ‘adjustments’ with regards to touch
[15:21] Using consent cards and cues. Also, how something as simple as ‘child’s pose’ assist may not be helpful.
[20:29] Amanda talks about how we learn shapes in yoga books and in yoga teacher training, but that it is going to look different in each individual’s body.
[21:26] It is difficult to see what is actually happening with a hands-on assist from a photo. Shannon emphasizes the importance of the student being able to come into (and stay in) the pose on their own
[23:04] Amanda shares how much she has learned by practicing assists and how she believes that touch is helpful.
[24:17] First ask, ‘what is the intention of this pose?’
[24:45] How does our culture affect how we use touch?
[26:30] Not everyone prefers touch (or hugs).
[27:26] How Shannon introduces the consent cards within a yoga class and how her definition of an assist doesn’t just include touch. She talks about how breath, props, cues and a demo of the pose are also an assist.
[31:32] What about asking permission to touch when students are in a pose like downward dog or child’s pose?
[32:31] We are learning as we go. Sometimes it is overwhelming when we have so much to learn as a yoga teacher. Amanda encourages us to be easy on yourself and to take a breath
[33:40] Other ways we can offer assists if we choose not to use hands-on assists. Shannon and Amanda discuss what they think about verbal cues and how they are not always the best way to move students into a pose.
[35:50] Amanda talks about Amber Karnes’ ideas around touch and how we never really know our students, no matter how much training we have around trauma and touch
[37:01] Scope of practice: Shannon asks Amanda, “Do you think that we need to be trained in massage before we offer hands-on assists to yoga students?”
[47:53] Amanda asks a great question around how much can we do without putting our hands on our students
[48:32] Hosting an assists specific class is another option. Then students are signing up for a full class of hands-on assists
[50:11] What about assistant teachers in class to help give hands-on assists?
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