Throughout my yoga practice there has been a dramatic shift in being open to accepting an assist from instructors. After a conversation with my yogi friends, I found out that I was not alone in my discovery of the beauty in the sense of touch in a yoga assist.
My stages of accepting the yoga touch:
1. As a newcomer to yoga, I disliked being corrected in poses wanting to be in my own space on my mat.
I recognize now that my ego was playing a big role in my resistance to the sense of touch. I did not want to be called out in class for not holding a posture properly and did not want to have any focus on me. This was also the part of my practice when I was taking note of what the person next to me was doing on their mat, not being fully present with myself or my body, my ego wanting to push deeper into the poses so I could “keep up”.
2. Becoming comfortable with the yoga touch soon set in and with encouragement from my instructor I became aware of the magical sensations within each pose.
This allowed me to experience the benefit of poses, the muscular sensations and the ability to connect more deeply with my body. Being open to accepting an assist allowed me to be present to my personal space on my mat, and to also maintain a sense of calm when another person is present. With this new found space on my mat, I was also able to let go of my ego and watching what others were doing on their mats. By focusing on my own practice, I found myself deeper in poses without pushing, but by being in tune with what felt nourishing for my body.
3. With a deeper connection to my body, I now crave the energetic exchange that happens between student and instructor. The encouragement that is present when receiving an assist and a deeper ability to nourish my body.
As a student I love the encouragement into a pose, the sense of awareness from my instructor and the energetic exchange that happens.
As an instructor I love to offer students the opportunity to experience the full benefits of a pose and creating a deeper connection within themselves.