dimanche 17 février 2019

Basic Hand Positions - Mindful Mechanics and Appropriateness

Basic Hand Positions

Mindful Mechanics and Appropriateness

The way we lay our hands on a student’s body as we’re giving an adjustment conveys an enormous amount about our intentions, confidence and mastery. For the vast majority of adjustments, there are three hand positions that are effective and clear. 
The Flat Hand: The Flat Hand is a great hand position anytime we place our hands flat on someone’s body. It avoids the intrusiveness of “poky fingers” and prevents us from grazing sensitive areas (in the case of Uttanasana and Downward Dog, for example) by extending the fingers back away from the palm.

The Barbie Hand: The Barbie Hand, with straight, angled fingers and tucked in thumb, is effective for moving major body parts (generally the hips). In Utkatasana, for example, the Barbie Hand allows us to apply firm, solid pressure while again avoiding gripping with the fingers.


The Barbie-Holds-the-Microphone Hand: This hand position is useful when grabbing extremities in a much more guiding and compassionate fashion than using a full grip. A gripping hand conveys force while the flat fingers and extended thumb of the Barbie-Holds-the-Microphone Hand conveys guidance and strength 

A Note About Appropriateness
In all of these adjustment techniques you do not find any instance where I recommend that hands slide from one part of a student’s body to another. This kind of “petting” leaves too much room for misinterpretation and ambiguity and is not particularly effective.

When we offer clear, concise adjustments we do our job in the highest way possible. Petting leaves room for students to wonder about their social status with a teacher, whereas firm, stationary hands reinforce the critical student/teacher relationship and create a safe space. Our students are there to be guided and receptive and proper hand positioning and technique builds this relationship of trust

To that end, we must always consider the highest integrity possible when using adjustments. Remember, adjustments come in all varieties! Sometimes the most powerful adjustment is simply to breathe with someone to encourage their breath. Sometimes all a student needs is for us to point to where their foot should be placed. Under no circumstances do we ever cross boundaries sexually or otherwise inappropriately. We never use force that is painful or inappropriate, and we always employ the utmost care possible with every student. We are there to serve their highest good in all ways, and if we do this with our adjustments, their experience is enhanced in the most positive ways.

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