Yoga Adjustments book cover
Yoga Adjustments: Foundations, Methods, and Techniques

Paperback, 416 pages

Publisher: North Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781583947708

Dimensions: 8 x 10

Also available in Kindle version and in multiple languages.


The quintessential guide to guiding students in their practices, Yoga Adjustments covers the art and practice of providing hands-on yoga assists to yoga students. Addressing one of the most important topics in the yoga field, Mark Stephens covers the philosophy of yoga practice, the sensibilities of touch in teaching yoga and improving alignment, the seven principles of hands-on yoga teaching, and the twenty-five most effective methods of tactile cueing. An invaluable resource for all yoga teachers, teacher trainers, and serious yoga students, this book includes a foreword by yoga teacher Shiva Rea as well as over 850 unique instructional photos and explanatory captions demonstrating precise ways of guiding a variety of flowing sequences.

Opening with an in-depth discussion of the philosophy of yoga guiding, Part I–Foundations describes the methods and techniques of giving yoga assistance, with detailed discussions of all of the elements of yoga assisting including communicating with students, qualities of touch, the five basic steps of providing hands-on cues, hands-on positioning and stance.

Part II–Applications demonstrates how to assist students in each of over 100 postures in the seven families of asanas (poses). Each chapter begins with background on an asana family and close consideration of its foundation asana. Each asana is presented in a two-page spread with photos that show how to give students effective guidance and support.

Part III–Evolution offers thoughts on the further development of yoga in the twenty-first century.

PRAISE FOR Yoga Adjustments: Foundations, Methods, and Techniques

Cyndi Lee YA

Cyndi Lee photo

I’m very excited about Mark Stephens new book, Yoga Adjustments: Philosophy, Principles and Techniques, which offers an invaluable service to the yoga community -- teachers, aspiring teachers and yoga students. As yoga’s popularity grows, we need our yoga teachers to mature as well, and Mark has given them a superb guidebook for making smart, safe, clear asana adjustments that further our understanding and deepen our experience of yoga.  In this way, the benefits of Mark’s expertise extends beyond the yoga community by demonstrating how healthy environments can be created in which any body can practice yoga with confidence.  

– Cyndi Lee, founder, NYC’s Om Yoga, author, May I be Happy and Yoga Body, Buddha Mind

Richard Freeman YA

Richard Freeman photo

Mark Stephens’ Yoga Adjustments is an important contribution to the ongoing evolution of yoga teaching and practice...[W]e all need to look intelligently at their mechanics, purposes and ethics. Stephens’ Yoga Adjustments is a wonderfully detailed resource for our investigation.

– Richard Freeman, director, The Yoga Workshop, author, The Mirror of Yoga

Shiva Rea YA

Shiva Rea picture

I love that Mark Stephens has covered not just the bio-mechanics of hands-on assists and the spectrum from technical support to subtle energetic direction but also the internal dynamics and ethics that the power of touch brings up in people of all walks of life. Mark offers practical insights, including the many dimensions of respecting a person’s process, injuries and tweaks and the important boundaries that are necessary for entering this territory that is often like being a “midwife of the embodied experience.” Mark brings understanding to the somatic power of touch and the role of hands-on assists in the unfolding of yoga…this is a book that will surely be serving teachers for a long time.

– Shiva Rea, founder, Prana Flow®–Energetic Vinyasa, author, Tending the Heart Fire

Ganga White YA

Ganga White photo

Another monumental and much needed work to guide yoga teachers in making safe and effective hands on adjustments with their students.  Once again Mark Stephens moves the bar and accelerates the evolutionary path of modern yoga.  This book is an invaluable reference for today's and future teachers.

– Ganga White, founder and co-director, White Lotus Foundation, author, Yoga Beyond Belief: Insights to Awaken and Deepen Your Practice

Leslie Kaminoff YA

Leslie Kaminoff photo

Mark Stephens has done our community a wonderful service with his newest work, Yoga Adjustments.  Along with Teaching Yoga and Yoga Sequencing, Mark has created a trilogy of essential works for every yoga teacher who strives to be more sensitive, safe and effective in their teaching.

– Leslie Kaminoff, founder, The Breathing Project, NYC, co-author, Yoga Anatomy

Richard Rosen YA

Richard Rosen photo

Whether you’re in training to be a teacher, just starting your teaching career, or a veteran of many years experience, Mark Stephens’ Yoga Adjustments will prove to be an invaluable resource. As with all his work, this book is written with intelligence, insight, and integrity.

– Richard Rosen, director of teacher training, Piedmont Yoga, author, Original Yoga


Foreword by Shiva Rea

Part I: Foundations

Chapter 1: Philosophy and Sensibility in Giving Yoga AdjustmentsPractice and Teaching

  • Introduction
  • Focus: Unique Students
  • The Heart of Practicing and Guiding Yoga
  • Crossing the Bridge from Practicing to Guiding Yoga
  • Focus: Styles That Touch
  • Touch, Somatics, and Self-Transformation in Yoga Assisting
  • Ethics in Yoga AssistingTeaching and Touching
  • The Inner Teacher

Chapter 2: The Seven Principles of Hands-On Yoga Teaching

  • Introduction
  • Principle One: Teaching What You Know
  • Principle Two: Asking Permission to Touch
  • Principle Three: Haveing Clear Intention
  • Principle Four: Moveing with the Breath
  • Principle Five: Honoring Safe Biomechanics
  • Principle Six: Teaching Essential Asana Elements
  • Principle Seven: Supporting Stable Foundations

Chapter 3: Method Foundations and& Techniques in Giving Yoga Adjustments

  • Introduction
  • Focus: Initial Student Query
  • Learning to See and Understand Students in Asanas
  • Further Approaching, Assessing, and Communicating with Students
  • Qualities of Touch
  • How Not to Touch
  • Focus: Self-Preservation and Teacher Positioning
  • Five Basic Steps in Giving Hands- On Cues and Assistance
  • Yoga Adjustment Positioning and Techniques
  • Physical Stances
  • Hand Positions and Movements
  • Departing a Student
  • Part TwoII: Applications

Chapter 4: Standing Asanas

  • Overview
  • Focus: An Awakened Foundation
  • Mountain PoseTadasana (Mountain Pose)
  • Chair PoseUtkatasana (Chair Pose)
  • Half Standing Forward Fold Ardha Uttanasana (Half Standing Forward Bend Pose)
  • Standing Forward BendUttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)
  • Big Toe PosePadangusthasana (Big Toe Pose)
  • Garland PoseMalasana (Garland Pose)
  • Spread Leg Forward Fold Pose APrasarita Padottanasana A (Spread-Leg Forward Fold Pose A)
  • Spread Leg Forward Fold Pose CPrasarita Padottanasana C (Spread-Leg Forward Fold Pose C)
  • Low Lunge PoseAnjaneyasana (Low Lunge Pose)
  • Eight Point Crescent Moon (or High Lunge) Pose Ashta Chandrasana (Crescent Pose or High Lunge Pose)
  • Triangle PoseUtthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
  • Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
  • Parsvottanasana (Intense Extended Side Stretch Pose)
  • Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
  • Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Extended Side Angle Pose)
  • Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I Pose)
  • Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose)
  • Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III Pose)
  • Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana (Revolved Half Moon Pose)
  • Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
  • Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose)
  • Parivrtta Hasta Padangusthasana (Revolved Hand to Big Toe Pose)
  • Garudasana Prep (Eagle Prep Pose)
  • Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
  • Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana (Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose)

Chapter 5: Abdominal Core Awareness and Integration

  • Overview
  • Focus: An Awakened Core
  • Jathara Parivartanasana (Revolving Twist Pose)
  • Tolasana (Scales Pose)
  • Lolasana (Dangling Earring Pose)
  • Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
  • Dwi Chakra Vahanasana (Yogic Bicycles)
  • Palavi Abhinatisasana ( Pelvic Tilts)

Chapter 6: Arm Support and Balance

  • Overview
  • Focus: Downward Facing Dog
  • Downward Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
  • Phalakasana (Plank Pose)
  • Chaturanga Dandasana (Four- Limbed Staff Pose)
  • Bakasana (Crane Pose)
  • Parsva Bakasana (Side Crane Pose)
  • Bhujapidasana (Shoulder-Squeezing  Pressing Pose)
  • Tittibhasana (Firefly Pose)
  • Vasisthasana (Side Arm BalancePlank Pose or Side Arm Balance)
  • One Footed Pose of KoundinyaEka Pada Koundinyasana A (IOne-Leg Sage Koundinya’s Pose A)
  • One Footed Pose of Koundinya Eka Pada Koundinyasana B (IIOne-Leg Sage Koundinya’s Pose B)
  • Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Downward-Facing Tree Pose or Handstand)
  • Shishulasana (Dolphin Pose)
  • Pincha Mayurasana (Feathered Peacock Pose or Forearm Balance)
  • Astavakrasana (Eight-Crooks Angle Pose)
  • Galavasana (Flying Crow Pose)
  • Urdhva Kukkutasana (Upward Rooster Pose)
  • Uttana Prasithasana (Flying Lizard Pose)

Chapter 7: Back Bends

  • Overview
  • Salabhasana A, B, C (Locust Pose A, B, C)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
  • Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose)
  • Naraviralasana (Sphinx)
  • Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
  • Naraviralasana (Sphinx)
  • Bhekasana (Frog Pose)
  • Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
  • Laghu Vajrasana (Little Thunderbolt Pose)
  • Kapotasana (Pigeon Pose)
  • Eka Pada Raj Kapotasana II (One-Leg Footed King Pigeon Pose II)
  • Supta Virasana (Reclineding Hero Pose)
  • Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
  • Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward-Facing Bow Pose or /Wheel Pose)
  • Viparita Dandasana (Inverted Staff Pose)
  • Natarajasana (King Dancer’s Pose)
  • Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
  • Uttana Padasana (Extended Leg/ Pose or Flying Fish Pose)

Chapter 8: Seated & and Supine Twists

  • Overview
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
  • Marichyasana C (Sage Marichiy’s Pose C)
  • Parivrtta Janu Sirsasana (Revolved Head to Knee Pose)
  • Swastikasana (Peace Pose)
  • Bharadvajrasana A (Sage Bharadvaj’s Pose A or Simple Noose Pose A)
  • Bharadvajrasana B (Sage Bharadvaj’s Pose B or Simple Noose Pose B)
  • Supta Parivartanasana (Reclined Revolved Pose)

Chapter 9: Seated and& Supine Forward Bends and & Hip Openers

  • Overview
  • Dandasana (Staff Pose)
  • or West Stretching Pose (Paschimottanasana (West Stretching Pose or Seated Forward Fold)
  • Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee Forward Bend Pose)
  • Marichyasana A (Sage Marichiy’s Pose A)
  • Archer’s Akarna Dhanurasana (Shooting Bow Pose)
  • Balasana (Child’s Pose)
  • Virasana (Hero Pose)
  • Tiriang Mukha Eka Pada Paschimottanasana (Three Limbs Facinge One Foot West Stretching Pose)
  • Forward Fold Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana (Half Bound Lotus West Intense Stretch Pose)
  • Upavista Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend Fold Pose)
  • Kurmasana (Tortoise Pose)
  • Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose or Cobbler’s Pose)
  • Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclineding Bound Angle Pose)
  • Ubhbaya Padangusthasana (Both Big Toes Pose)
  • Upward Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana (Upward-Facing West Intense Stretch Pose)
  • Reclining Supta Padangusthasana A & and B (Reclined Big Toe Pose A & and B)
  • Apanasana (Wind-Relieving Pose or Knees to Chest Pose)
  • Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
  • Double Pigeon Agnistambhasana (Fire Log Pose or Two-Footed King Pigeon Pose)
  • Eka Pada Raj Kapotasana I (One-Leg Footed King Pigeon Pose I)
  • Eka Pada Sirsasana (One Foot Leg behind the Head Pose)
  • Sukhasana (Simple Pose)
  • Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
  • Baddha Padmasana (Bound Lotus Pose)
  • Hanumanasana (Divine Monkey Pose)

Chapter 10: Inversions & Savasana

  • Overview
  • Focus: Inversion and Menstruation
  • Halasana (Plow Pose)
  • Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulder Stand Pose)
  • Karnapidasana (Ear- Squeezing Pose)
  • Urdhva Padmasana (Upward Lotus Pose)
  • Salamba Sirsasana I (Supported Headstand I)
  • Salamba Sirsasana II (Supported Headstand II)
  • Viparita Karani (Active Reversal Pose)
  • Savasana (Corpse Pose or Final Relaxation Pose)
  • Part III: Evolution

Chapter 11: –  Guiding Yoga in the Twenty-First Century

  • Yoga Trends
  • Gurus and Teachers
  • Rising Competencies
  • Inspiring and Empowering Students


  • Appendix A: Glossary of Asanas in Sanskrit and English 
  • Appendix B: Glossary of Terms 
  • Appendix C: Additional Resources 





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