One quality that is generally overlooked during a yoga training is how tactile and sensitive your padas (feet) and hastas (hands) become. Our padas and hastas literally hold us up, help to hold on, they press down, rise up, grip, expand, express, release, absorb, radiate, push away, pull towards and activate our extremities.

They have chakras or energy centres of their own and are in continual communication with their surroundings. As the world shifted into online trainings and social distancing became a normal part of life, a huge chunk of yoga trainings quickly vanished.

I’m talking about the physical act of touch, connection, support and the sacred art of hands on assists.

Giving and receiving hands on assists is an art form, it can be life changing to receive an incredible assist and so humbling to give one especially when you witness the body relaxing or opening a little more from your touch. After many conversations with different yoga teachers it sounds like there’s lots of hesitation in giving or even offering assists post pandemic.

Confidence is lost.
The know-how has gone.
The skill is forgotten.
Consent is a huge topic so any touch is generally avoided.
This art form wasn’t taught in the online / in-person training.
No chance to practice due to time/ space constraints.

The art of hands on assists is one of my all time favourite topics to dive into because ultimately we are communicating directly with the bodies intelligence.

Being a tactile person, giving and receiving touch has never been an issue. I was initiated into Reiki Mastery in 2001 and studied Thai Massage in Thailand from 2002, learning to assist, adjust and enhance bodies on and off the yoga mat has always felt very natural to me. I’ve offered hands on assists during MANY yoga events (including my own and when assisting Shiva Rea around the world ) with 100+ people and 1:2:1 since very early on in my yoga journey.

It’s like learning another language, my intuition guides me, the body speaks to me and my tactile hands and feet lead the way. The more we do it, the more refined it gets.

If this speaks to you, I’m offering a 2.5hr Hands on Assists session during my Autumnal day retreat 7 May. We’ll cover the different types of assists through familiar poses, explore weight transference verses muscle strength, using yoga props during assists and there’ll be lots of practice time and discuss the topics mentioned above.

This day retreat is open to all so if you’re not a yoga teacher, during the hands on assists time you’ll be with my partner for a Chi Gong Movement Meditation and Forest Bathing journey!

I hope you can make it 🙂

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