Hands on, Hands off – Moving between Aha and Uh-Uh – Workshop


WHERE: Yoga on the Deck (YOTD), 32 Taman Warna, Holland Village, Singapore



Lee verbally cuing people into a crazy variation of side plank

Part of the nature of yoga is there are infinite possibilities for deepening and refining one’s practice. Playing to the edges of effort and ease, exploring balance between surrender and control, opens awareness to self-understanding and self-transformation. As we learn and expand our practice, where and what is the role of tactile cues and adjustments? And the role of verbal instructions?

Come to this 4 hour workshop, and explore for yourself, ways to improve adjustments and cuing in your yoga. In this workshop we ask and answer, when should I adjust?  How should I adjust? And most importantly why should I adjust?

In this workshop you will:

  • Discover essential principles for adjustment and verbal cuing as a teacher
  • Identify and model several techniques for preparing yourself, as a teacher, for tactile cuing, including energetic tuning
  • Practice tactile and verbal cuing with 15 of the most common poses in yoga

The workshop is experiential.  You will practice on yourself, for yourself.  You will practice on others, for others.

Yvonne with Wandering Yoginis in Yin down by the Eco-Lake.

Who should come along?

  • Yoga teachers interested in bringing more light and inspiration to their guiding, or coming back to teaching after a break
  • Yoga students, for whom yoga is an essential to daily life, who want to expand or transform their personal practice (or might be thinking of becoming a teacher)
  • Physical Fitness professionals that do a lot of one-on-one coaching

You can register now, simply click here

Who is facilitating?

Lee with her master, Paulie Zink, learning how to cue

Lee Carsley, founder of the ANZA WanderingYogis– and a CE Yoga Alliance Master Teacher, with over 2,000 hours of teaching experience and a few yoga retreats under her belt.  More importantly, she loves to teach and she loves yoga. In a former lifetime she was a senior executive coach and leadership facilitator, and a guest and regular lecturer in a few MBA programs around the world. She prefers to visually demonstrate and verbally cue students, with an occasional hands on assist. Read more about her here..

With one of her most famous poses – the Yvonne Smiling Pose

 Yvonne Huang Hsen Feng – Yvonne has had years of teaching experience.  She loves to hands on assist, particularly in Yin. Read more about her here…

What can you expect?

The philosophy of touch

You are in front of a class of people you barely know.  You have agreed to substitute for a friend of yours.  You open with the usual comments about taking yoga at your own pace, checking for injuries, and asking if anyone minds adjustments (no one says no).  In the first 10 minutes of the class, you notice the incredibly beautiful diversity of humanity before you, including someone who clearly has had teacher training, someone who looks like they know what they are doing but appear to be in pain, and someone who has no idea but is enjoying showing off their gymnastic ‘prowess’ in the class. 

Your desire to adjust some of the warrior positions in front of you is an itch that must be scratched.  You head over to the one in pain because they are obviously in the most need of ‘help’.

The subject of continual debate, tactile adjustments can run the gamut from helpful to hurtful.

There is a growing awareness that touch can pose risks for students, and overhelpful teachers can perform accidentally aggressive adjustments. And it can be hazardous for teachers. If you have ever been kicked in the face while helping a student into handstand, you will know what I mean.  On the other hand, you will have students who like to be touched in yoga. And you might sneakily suspect that this makes them feel special and keeps them coming back.

Hands-on assistance is energetically strenuous for the applier.  As teachers, we need to manage and guard our own energy, particularly if we are working long days.

How to navigate between ‘a-ha’ and ‘uh-uh’ moments for us and our students?  Come to our workshop and find out using 20 of the most common yoga poses (and a few of the unusual ones).

The philosophy of teaching – verbal cues

It’s the stuff of a yoga teacher’s nightmare: Everything is flowing so perfectly, you’re starting to wonder if anyone is actually paying attention. Then you take them from Down-Dog to Forward Fold, just a normal part of a sun salutation, and the unthinkable happens. You mean to say, “Step your right foot between your hands,” but you tell them, “Step your right hand between your legs.” 

In the time it takes to make this simple yet deeply flawed instruction, your sangha dissolves from an energetic cohesive group to a flock of seagulls trying to land in the wind. Some students, anticipating Forward Fold, do what you meant to ask. Others look around in bewilderment. And, yes, others timidly place their right hand between their legs. Suddenly you realize your students are indeed listening intently, and that language matters.

If you’ve ever had a moment like this, you know that paying attention to your own words is paramount when you’re teaching a class. What’s more, a few tips can make your language so much more vibrant that not only will you stay on your toes and avoid embarrassing slips, your students will actually grasp what you’re trying to tell them. You might even be a little funny.

In this workshop, we will practice 4 simple concepts to help make your instructional language alive and effective.