Wednesday, July 28, 2010

5 Ways to Get More Hands-On Adjustments

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Imagine this scenario. I'm happily practicing Downward-Facing Dog. My teacher starts giving adjustments a couple of people away (you know the one where they lean in and press your hips back and up?). I get excited as the person on the mat next to mine gets a long adjustment because I think I'm next. YAAAY! It's my turn! And then I hear, "OK, come into Plank, Chaturanga, and Up Dog with your own breath." My teacher tip-toes to the front of the room. No adjustment for me. Disappointment, sadness, jealousy, and regret wash over me. I am devastated!

In order to keep this from happening to more innocent yoga victims out there, I've devised a five-step plan to getting more adjustments in yoga class. Try it out and let me know how it goes.

5 Ways to Get More Hands-On Adjustments

1. Fidget. A lot! Especially in Savasana (Corpse Pose). Move your head from side to side if you want a gentle, loving neck massage. Wiggle your arms for a shoulder adjustment. And so on.

2. Mess up. Remember when you were a beginner and knew nothing about alignment? Round your lower back in Down Dog. Let your knee slide past your ankle a little. Be sloppy! Teachers LOVE to fix sloppy poses. If you look like you know what you're doing they'll pass you right on by!

3. Ask for Guidance. Are you a teacher? Are you considering teacher training? Come to class early and ask your teacher if he/she would mind teaching you how to do that AMAZING adjustment you like so much. I'm sure she'd be happy to show you!

4. Try WAY too hard. Practice your straining, struggling face at home in front of a mirror. It should look hard and scrunched up (maybe a little constipated). For best results, try making this face during a seated forward bend as you tug mercilessly at your foot, determined to get your forehead to your knee. Then watch how quickly your teacher comes by to try to get you to relax.

5. Be exhausted. Let your teacher know before class that you've had a really hard day and might have to take things a little easier today. Then, when everyone else is flowing through a vinyasa take Child's Pose and don't move. I bet your teacher will come by and give you a little extra traction..

Better yet, maybe you should just pay for a massage...