Benefits of Tactile Cues

By Mark Stephens on Fri, 04/15/2016 - 20:24

Using your hands to accentuate and refine what you are trying to convey with words or visual modeling can make all the difference in a student’s ability to comprehend and internalize whatever you are trying to share. With clearer, more manifold communication comes deeper learning, and with it the promise of yoga—to be healthy, integrated, fully awake—is gradually more fully realized.Touch, which immediately reaches our students in a direct and personal way, can thus be an effective method of directly, simply, and specifically communicating with them. Spoken words and the physical demonstration of asanas are essential ways of communicating with students and should be the starting place—and often the ending place—in teaching asanas. Yet when combined with precise and informed touch, these tools can convey even more: 

  • clarifying a verbalized or demonstrated alignment cue 
  • highlighting an energetic action 
  • giving students a feeling of support 
  • bringing awareness to an unconscious part of the body 
  • assisting in stabilizing, easing, or deepening an asana 
  • assisting in safely increasing range of motion 
  • helping you as the teacher to be more aware of a student’s overall condition
  • creating a more trusting and open sense of connection between you and your students 
  • offering comforting support amid the intensity of some experiences