Tutorial: Round 8

It's important in this round that you start by establishing a strong foundation. Set up the distance between your hands and feet while you are still in the plank position. Ensure your alignment is correct before you move on. When moving in to the Downwards Dog posture, always always always start by bending your knees and then move the rest of your body backwards. The work here is to eventually have one straight line from your sit bones to you wrists. Once you have a straight spine, first then should you slowly begin to straighten your legs without compromising the work you have already done. Take your time in these stretches. 

Hands-on adjustments

Different countries are different culturally, also different studios have a different “norm” and attitude as does a boxing clubs vs. a yoga studios. In the PAR-Q, small print, the student confirms that they will inform the coach prior the class if they do not agree with hands-on adjustments. Even so, it is still important that you talk to your students about your methods and ensure everybody is well informed and comfortable with it.

 1.    OBSERVE

Observation is key at all times.

  • Always start by looking at their stance.
  • Work your way up from the foundation to understand their “problem”, alignment and ability
  • Never deepen a posture if the alignment is incorrect!

2.    ASSESS

Make a decision. 

  • Are you adjusting to correct?
  • Are you adjusting to increase depth in their posture?


Ensure that your student can hear and/or see you

  •  Approach with confidence!
  • If he/she can’t see you, say something when you are standing next to him/her so that he/she know that you are there. 


  • Place a hand on your student and ask if you can adjust them.
  • This also gives him/her a sense of connection/respect and confidence in you.


  • Adjust/deepen every stretch/posture with an exhalation
  • Synchronize your breathing with theirs.
  • If you can’t hear/feel their breathing you can verbally instruct breathing cues.

6.    ADJUST

Commit to your adjustment!

  • Vocalize what you are doing and what you want them to do/change/understand  

Study and reflect

Demonstrate your posture/stance/angles of adjustment

  • Keep your stance wide and grounded with a rounded back.
  • Keep your pelvis close to the student
  • Use your body for support
  • Use your body weight and adjust from your legs and core, not just your arms.

Explore how to use the hands

  • Different people teach differently – there is no “wrong”
  • Open hands including fingers
  • Cupped hands
  • Open hands without fingers (heal of the hand)


  • The fingers are pointing away from the muscles that you are stretching
  • Lead with small movements/strokes away to elongate the muscle
  • Put equal pressure down throughout the palm of the hand


  • Be aware of the “ripple effect” / two steps forward one step back -


  • Take a step back and observe your student again.
  • Assess whether the adjustment helped. If necessary, adjust again.
  • Do not give up on your student.

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