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Hands On Adjustments Artwork
Season 5 - Episode 2


5 min - Tutorial
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Rosemary, with the help of Alana, looks at Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold)—verbal cues, fundamental alignment, and hands-on adjustments to help deepen the experience of the posture.
What You'll Need: Partner, Mat

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Mar 23, 2019
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Welcome, Paschimottanasana, seated forward fold. Thank you so much, Alana, for helping us with this. So Alana's going to come right down into it, right? And just like Dandasana, her legs are awake and engaged, her feet are flexed, her spine is nice and long, absolutely okay to let some rounding in the back occur here. You just want to emphasize as much length, especially in the seat of the spine, as possible.

One very simple adjustment. You'll come to the base of the spine, take a hand to the sacrum, and then take your other hand right around the mid-back. And this hand on the mid-back is pressing forward and down a little. It's not a smash directly down. We want to emphasize the lengthening of the spine and that energy moving out, okay?

So give that a few breaths. You can even guide your hand up the spine a little. And then let the hand on the upper back go and gently release the sacrum, okay? This next adjustment is far more intense and I want to be really clear. I do not do this with new students and even if I've adjusted it with a long-term student, I ask every time if they're okay, right?

Something like is the low back happy? Are you comfortable with a deeper adjustment? I want verbal confirmation that they're okay with this adjustment, okay? So I'm using my upper body on Alana's back to help deepen it and ease her forward. I want to be clear that I'm making contact right around my middle torso rib cage area.

No contact with my breasts, nothing around the belly, okay? So I'm coming near her. My fingers are tenting outside of her and one knee outside of her hip and the other knee bracing behind. And then I make contact slowly and then again forward and down and just kind of feeling if it's really resistant, then a little less pressure. If I feel the student moving pretty deep into it, then maybe a little more weight.

And then if they're doing well, you take one hand right around the base of the big toe and just gently curl back to make sure the feet and the legs stay awake, right? And then releasing the hand on the feet, rooting myself, taking weight back into my hands so that I ease off of Alana's body really slowly and then just easing back. And it might be nice to ground the sacrum again after that. It can be pretty intense. Okay.

Thanks, Alana. All right, the first few times you try that, do so with students you know really well or maybe with some friends and get that verbal exchange exploration until it feels like second nature. Thank you.


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