Iyengar Yoga has a few aspects that differentiate our teachers from other schools of Yoga. One is that we are trained over years on how to do physical adjustments to students with extreme care and in a way that will help the pose to improve. This could be simply a guiding hand to help you sit up straight or something more substantial. I sometimes ask if people would prefer not to be adjusted- it’s not compulsory! But I have seen a physical adjustment improve someone’s pose when no words could do it.
But who gets adjusted and why? Well that’s quite a complicated thing to answer. Sometimes a beginner needs a gentle hand to encourage them, but generally I don’t adjust them much. If you are stiff, and doing your best in class, you might get left alone as time and practice will naturally improve your Yoga. Once you have some flexibility, but need a nudge to help extend more, you might get an occasional adjustment. But if you are quite flexible, and I feel you are capable of doing more, you may get quite a few adjustments from me.
So sometimes the most able may get adjusted more in class but they shouldn’t feel it means they are doing everything wrong. I hear that in the US some teachers no longer touch their students as they are scared of being accused of harm or inappropriate behaviour- I really hope that the UK doesn’t become like that as adjustments are such a useful tool.