Hands Off – Should We offer Hands-On Assists Yin Yoga Classes?

posted in: Yin Yoga Podcast 1

Hands Off – Should We Offer Hands-On Assists Yin Yoga Classes?

This week’s episode, I think is going to be a juicy one and probably a little bit controversial, perhaps  (I am known for having unpopular opinions), we will be exploring the question of offering hands-on assists in Yin yoga classes from my perspective.

If you are new to the podcast, or if you’re new to Yin, you may also want to check out the episode What is Yin Yoga, to set the stage as to what Yin Yoga is and how It’s different.

Active, more dynamic, more moving form of practice is focused on proprioception. So like, where is my body in space? So when you are, for example, standing at the front of your mat, and you have to step back to do a high lunge, knowing where your foot should land behind you without looking is proprioception.

These movement forms of Yoga are excellent at cultivating the skill of proprioception.

Yin’s Secret Superpower is Introception.

 

Proprioception vs. Interoception:

  • Proprioception’s focus is on external body awareness compared to interoception’s emphasis on internal awareness.
  • Yin yoga’s unique emphasis on interoception contrasts with more dynamic yoga styles.

It’s important not to bring out Baggage from more active styles of Yoga into Our Yin Yoga Practice. Yin Yoga isn’t “just like regular Yoga with longer holds”.

Most yoga teachers are not educated enough in anatomy and kinesiology to know whether or not that is safe for that particular student, right? So just because something is safe for one student doesn’t mean it’s a safe adjustment for the very next student. Okay. So each student has their own individual body, their own individual bone structures, their own body proportions, et cetera, et cetera.

That’s not to mention issues and injuries and, dominant hands and feet and all the things. So as student from student to student, they’re so different. So going in with the same sort of rote, everybody gets this adjustment is not skillful.

Personally, the only people that I want air quotes, adjusting me are my fricking chiropractor or my osteopath or my physiotherapist, because yoga teachers do not have the knowledge skill experience, or frankly, licensure to be running around, adjusting people and moving their body.

And in this day and age, if you want to teach in a trauma-informed way, one of the biggest things you should consider is not touching your students. 

Episode Highlights:

  • Challenging the appropriateness of hands-on assists in Yin yoga classes
  • Individual student needs and safety concerns.
  • Honouring and respecting Yin Yoga’s focus on internal experience and introspection.
  • Advocating for a teaching approach that prioritizes verbal and visual guidance
  • I want to encourage Yoga teachers to prioritize student safety, autonomy, and inclusivity in their teaching approach.
  • Teaching a trauma-informed practice where students are encouraged to explore and have agency over their bodies
  • Scope of practice as a Yoga Teacher
  • and much more

Hands Off – Should We Offer Hands-On Assists Yin Yoga Classes? – Listen

Hands Off – Should We Offer Hands-On Assists Yin Yoga Classes? – Watch

Hands Off – Should We Offer Hands-On Assists Yin Yoga Classes? – Read 

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Hi, Annie’s, and welcome back

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Nyk Danu Yoga: if you are new around here. Welcome, welcome

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Nyk Danu Yoga: if you are. Return, listener, welcome back! Thanks for joining me again today.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, I just want to thank those of you that have reached out and offered me feedback on the podcast I’ve been getting the

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Nyk Danu Yoga: the Dms, and the comments on Facebook and etc, and really warms my heart to hear that this has been making an impact in your teaching and helping you to lead more skillful and soulful yin classes. Because that was the whole point of me. Starting this, podcast was like, I got a lot to say on Yin.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and you know maybe I should say it to people that aren’t just in my trainings. Maybe I should say it outside of the trainings as well.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So thank you for each of those of you that have reached out and offered me

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Nyk Danu Yoga: some kind words in the Dms. Whether that’s on Instagram or Facebook or in the comments

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Nyk Danu Yoga: also huge. Thank you. To those of you who have taken the time to

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Nyk Danu Yoga: offer a review for the podcast

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Nyk Danu Yoga: giving, the podcast a review takes maybe 3 min and makes a huge difference.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: That’s what tells the algorithms, whether it be the apple, one or the spotify one or wherever you’re listening to, or the Youtube one if you’re watching

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Nyk Danu Yoga: that this is valuable content.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So if you have not, if you’ve been here more than once or twice.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and you have not yet offered a review.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I would be so grateful if you would.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: If you’re watching this on Youtube, you can just take a moment to like the video. Make sure you’ve subscribed, and then, you know, part way through. Leave me a comment. So as you’re watching it. If you have a little. Aha! Leave me a comment underneath.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: If you are listening to this on Apple, you could do a 5 star review. I would be super grateful for that

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Nyk Danu Yoga: on Apple. You also have the option to offer a written review, and so, if you wouldn’t mind doing that, I’d be grateful for that as well.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and then on spotify. It’s just the stars. So you can give me some 5 star review. If you’ve been loving this podcast if you’ve been returning to it again and again. If you’ve been finding it helpful, I would be so grateful. Thank you so much. Just take a moment to do it right now I’ll wait. Go ahead.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay, thank you.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Before we dive into today’s episode, which I think is going to be a juicy one, and probably a little bit controversial. Perhaps I am known for having unpopular opinions.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: But before we get into that I wanted to read

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Nyk Danu Yoga: some feedback that I’ve gotten from my therapeutic gen training.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: This is from one of my former students.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Nick, thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I felt 100% comfortable around you, and loved your warm and humorous teaching style.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I absolutely love how you answered all of our questions with so much passion for the subject.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and at the same time with so much understanding for us as students who were learning something completely new.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: at least for me, with a tantric, half a Yoga background. It was

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Nyk Danu Yoga: new to learn about the meridians and the sinew channels.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m glad that I made this choice and took this training with you. You are an expert in this area. This is totally unquestioned, and my new go to person for yin yoga trainings.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Thank you for everything, and that’s from Natalie P.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Thank you, Natalie.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: If you have been looking for a yin training

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Nyk Danu Yoga: or you’re looking for another yen training, maybe you took one and feel like you just kinda dipped your toe into the world of yin. And you wanna up, level your skills and learn new things from new teachers.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Then I would highly encourage you to just look at your app right now, or if you’re on Youtube, just look down in the description box, you will see a link there that says, Get on the wait list.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and when you click that link

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Nyk Danu Yoga: it’ll take you to my Yen Yoga training page. And then if you look way up in the picture. There’s an opportunity there with a little button for you to get on the waitlist.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: You just click that button, put your name and email. There’s also an opportunity way down on the bottom to get on the wait list, and if you’re there long enough you’ll even have a little polite pop up that will slide into the side, saying, Hey.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: do you want to be on the waitlist?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: When you join the waitlist you will be first notified of the training registration opening. So I do that first. A couple weeks before I start putting it on. So the socials, etc. waitlist gets first notice.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: When you’re on the waitlist, you’re also going to get as a little. Thank you. Gift from me when you first join.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: a sequence a little free Pdf sequence, a Yen sequence.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Then, a few weeks later, you’re going to get a little video

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and then along the way to registration opening, you’re gonna get these podcast episodes, little sneaky peeks behind the curtain of my training. So little video clips from the training so that you can check those out some videos and invitations to practice with me. I typically have a quarterly free class, and then also have regular in classes that run in semesters. So you get all of that on your way to registration opening.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So if you’ve been listening and you’ve been curious, and you wanna either do some yin training, and you haven’t done some, or you did some enter. Now, realizing that you could do with

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Nyk Danu Yoga: some more.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I would love to have you

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Nyk Danu Yoga: one of the things that is different about my training is that I am a yoga therapist. So it definitely has a more therapeutic leaning.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: as far as you know, discussing things like trauma and how to hold brave space and all that stuff.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And then it’s also steeped in traditional Chinese medicine.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And of course, if you have questions about my training. Just reach out. Just get at me in the Dms and let me know.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: so let’s get on to today’s topic.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Today, we’re going to talk about whether or not you should be offering hands-on assists or hands-on adjustments in a in class

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Nyk Danu Yoga: done done done

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Nyk Danu Yoga: so. This is something that

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m actually surprised how often it comes up when I see questions in groups

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Nyk Danu Yoga: about this.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So if you’re not really familiar with Yen Yoga as a style.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: either because you haven’t studied it. You haven’t taken a yin training, or because maybe your yin training was kind of short, and so they didn’t really have time to go into all the things

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Nyk Danu Yoga: which no Yin training has time to go into all the things.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: This is why people will often take several Yen trainings over the course of time with different teachers, so that they get kind of a well rounded idea of a yin training

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and of how to teach you in, because each teacher, each educator, has their own sort of special zone of genius that they offer in their trainings. So

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Nyk Danu Yoga: it’s not unusual for people to do many Yin trainings.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: just like when you do your hafa training, your your first training. Whether it was Vinyasa Shanka hafa whatever you did as a teacher. Your first 200 h

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Nyk Danu Yoga: was a 200 h.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and so it is not at all inconceivable to think that you could

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Nyk Danu Yoga: take 200 h easily in Yen as well.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: But the

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Nyk Danu Yoga: one of the reasons that I wanted to point that out is that if you are new to the podcast, or if you’re new to yen, you may also want to check out the

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Nyk Danu Yoga: episode. That is, I think it’s called what is Yan Yoga.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And you may also want to talk to or listen to the episode with with Paul Grilley

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and link those. But they were early on in the first season.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: because if you don’t have a great understanding of what Yan Yoga is and what it’s not.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: then what can happen? And I’ve said this in numerous episodes before. It’s a good analogy is that we? We take our regular training, our first T-shirt training, whether it’s Vinyasa or Hafa, or whatever your first training was.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and we take some of that

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Nyk Danu Yoga: with us into our yen classes.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and some of it is good to take in like how to be comfortable. In front of a room full of people. And you know, things like that, like, there are definitely skills we learned in our first training that we can bring into yen. But there’s also a whole bunch that should be left at the door, because yin is such a different kind of practice.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: active, more dynamic, more moving form of practice is focused on proprioception. So like, where is my body in space? So when you are, for example, standing at the front of your mat, and you have to step back to do a high lunge, knowing where your foot should land behind you without looking is proprioception.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and these movement forms of Yoga are really excellent at cultivating

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Nyk Danu Yoga: the skill of proprioception.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Yin’s secret superpower is introception.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And again, there was a whole episode on that as well.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: But in brief.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: introception is an awareness of what’s happening inside of us.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So a Yin Yoga practice

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Nyk Danu Yoga: comes from the inside out.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: whereas a more movement, dynamic flowing practice tends to come from the outside and then move in.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So, for example, you’re working mostly on proprioception, and then at the end, you might have, maybe, if you’re lucky. Some meditation.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: a decent amount of Shavasan.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: perhaps some subtle breathwork. Okay, but that’s usually kind of towards the end of class in a more movement, or dynamic or flowing practice.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: whereas in Yen, that’s not the case in Yen, we’re starting

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Nyk Danu Yoga: really quickly with our introception. Now, there may be a little bit more talking from the teacher at the start of class, especially if they know that there’s folks that are new. That’s a skillful thing to do as a teacher is.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: if you know you’ve got newbies to at least just do a brief little bit of talking about

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Nyk Danu Yoga: what the heck the sea and Yoga business is. And then please shut up

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Nyk Danu Yoga: from there on.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So I just want to point this out. This proprioception introception concept again, which again we’ve talked about in past episodes.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: because

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Nyk Danu Yoga: that is key to understanding why yin is taught differently.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and why I’m going to just go way out on a limb with my unpopular opinion and say that hands-on adjusts and hands-on assists

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Nyk Danu Yoga: are not appropriate in a Yen Yoga classroom.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m going to back this up. Don’t worry.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Now. We could question actually. And because this episode will be coming out right after 3 episodes to do with trauma.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So there’ll be an episode on trauma in the nervous system. There’ll be an episode on. Can we make Yen Yoga trauma informed, or is Yen Yoga trauma sensitive? And then we’re gonna hear from one of my former students, now colleagues, and about how she used Yen Yoga to go through her healing journey. So

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Nyk Danu Yoga: right before this episode comes, live, there will have been 3 of those back to back that you can check out if

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Nyk Danu Yoga: trauma, and being trauma-sensitive or being trauma informed, is something that’s kind of new to you.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and there are whole styles of Yoga.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: where they insist that you must touch every single person in the room.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: This is sort of

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Nyk Danu Yoga: outdated and antiquated

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Nyk Danu Yoga: viewpoint. In my opinion.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: if we are trying to teach in a trauma informed space which I hope all teachers are.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: then it may not be appropriate to touch your students.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Now, I’m talking about, not just in a yin class. I’m talking about all the classes.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So before we get into whether or not you should touch people in Yen. I want to talk about should we touch people in Yoga?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So first, we also need to break down these words adjusts and assists

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Nyk Danu Yoga: they’re very vague.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: They’re a little bit confusing.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: because some people, when they say they offer an adjustment or an assist mean, I’m going to use my hands to guide you deeper into the pose than you could go on your own. In fact, there are whole lineages of Yoga.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Those are the styles that say you must always touch everyone in the room that do that where they’re sort of.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: In my case it would be woman handling if I was doing it, or manhandling you, and like guiding you deeper into the pose than you should, you cannot do on your own.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I have a lot of problems with that

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So for one, most Yoga teachers are not educated enough in anatomy and kinesiology to know whether or not that is safe for that particular student.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: right? So just because something is safe for one student doesn’t mean it’s a safe adjustment for the very next student.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay, so each student has their own individual bodies, their own individual bone structures, their own body proportions, etc, etc. That’s not including things like issues and injuries. And you know, dominant hands and feet and all the things. So as student from student to student, they’re different.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So, going in with the same sort of route, everybody gets. This adjustment is not skillful, and I’m sorry. I know that there are whole lineages of Yoga where this is a thing

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Nyk Danu Yoga: history does not need to be the future.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m gonna say that one more time

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Nyk Danu Yoga: history does not need to be the future.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: When we learn more we do better.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m against

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Nyk Danu Yoga: going in and automatically offering hands-on adjust

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Nyk Danu Yoga: period in any yoga class.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Now, I’m going to use adjustments and assist Sis because they seem to be used sort of

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Nyk Danu Yoga: wishy washy interchangeably

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Nyk Danu Yoga: like. If you were to say to the average student, what’s the difference? Or average teacher? Sorry. What’s the difference between a hands-on assist and a hands-on adjustment.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: They’d be like even the average student would do that right

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Nyk Danu Yoga: personally. The only people that I want air quotes adjusting me are my frickin’ chiropractor, or my Osteopath or my physiotherapist.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: because Yoga teachers do not have the

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Nyk Danu Yoga: knowledge.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: skill.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: experience, or frankly, licensure to be running around

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Nyk Danu Yoga: adjusting people and moving their body.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay, so

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Nyk Danu Yoga: in this day and age, if you want to teach in a trauma informed way.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: one of the biggest things you can consider is not touching your frickin students.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So that’s adjustments. Assuming you’re trying to deepen the pose.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And that could also be what some people call assist.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And now, right now, as a yoga teacher, you might be thinking, Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. But I don’t do that like, I don’t do these. I don’t use my hands to get people to go deeper into a pose. I use my hands to bring awareness

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Nyk Danu Yoga: to an area of the body.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: right? So

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Nyk Danu Yoga: you could be using your hands to deepen a pose or to air, quotes

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Nyk Danu Yoga: you bring awareness of alignment. Air quotes, because again, in Yen there is no such thing

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Nyk Danu Yoga: as

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Nyk Danu Yoga: one size fits all alignment. So if you are, for example, going up to your student in a more active class, and they are in downward dog, and you’re doing that adjustment where you’re turning their forear or their sorry, their their upper arms.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: so that it’s correct. Air quotes alignment

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Nyk Danu Yoga: that doesn’t work for everyone’s bone structure.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And so you can potentially be injuring your students

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Nyk Danu Yoga: by thinking you’re correcting their alignment to keep them safe, you might actually be injuring them over time.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: But even if you’re not injuring them, you’re indirectly telling them that their body is not doing the pose right.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Your body is not doing this pose right. Let me come around and use my hands to show you the right way.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and then, if they can’t do, the air quotes right way.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Now they feel like some kind of a failure. And now we wonder why people say, Oh, I can’t do, yoga. I’m not flexible.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: It’s like, if you go to Yoga, and you’re constantly being corrected and told that you’re not doing it right, that you don’t have the right alignment that you’ve missed the point.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I mean. No wonder people think you have to be a certain way to do Yoga.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So I am not a fan of using my hands on a student, and and I do. I don’t just teach in by the way, folks. Fact, I taught Hatha alignment focused Hatha for quite a few years before I really specialized in yet. So it’s not like, I don’t know what I’m talking about here.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: but when you go over to a student and you’re using your hands, and it’s also not like. I didn’t do some of these things, Fyi.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: when you go over to a student and you’re using your hands to either deepen the expression of their pose, meaning you’re putting them into the pose deeper than they could do on their own. That is problematic.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Number 2. If you’re using your hands to air quotes correct their alignment

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Nyk Danu Yoga: also problematic.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay, so that’s what I would call adjust adjustments. Right? You’re going in and you’re reshaping, retweking the body right

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Nyk Danu Yoga: now, some of you might be thinking, Yeah, yeah, yeah, Nick, but I don’t do that. I mean, when I touch my students.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: it’s just to create an awareness of an area.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Now this I understand, because.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: even though, as just mentioned, I don’t just teach yin.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I also teach.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, Therapeutic Yoga, which is sort of Hatha, based with a few extra bells and whistles thrown in.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And so I do understand this. There are those students that no matter how many times you give them a queue

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and not to air quotes, correct their pose as in they’re doing it wrong. But just to create an awareness of Hey, we’re trying this shape because we want to do this and A equals to B, and if they’re missing it.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and you’ve called it out a few times, sometimes it’s that their body can’t do that. What you’re asking.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: in which case definitely not going over and adjusting them. That’s not helpful.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: But sometimes it is just that they are maybe, for example, a super visual learner, and so they don’t really have an awareness of their actual body.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: One I can think of quite easily in. This is when somebody is in a forward fold or downward dog, and

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Nyk Danu Yoga: they’ve got like their back, really rounded and kind of like in downward dog. They’ve got all the weight in their hands, and they’re quite tight.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and they’re not bending their knees, and so, like downward dog feels like torture to them because they’ve all the weight in their arms, their back super rounded, and they’re just they’re dying there.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: When that happens it can be helpful, or I have found it helpful in the past. If I’ve verbally queued a few times, and they’re not getting it because

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Nyk Danu Yoga: they’re working, and they’re exerting themselves in that pose. So they’re they’re struggling while I, finding ways to rephrase things. So they hopefully get it. Sometimes in the past I have come and just put my hand on their back super lightly.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and said.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Can you take your back away from my hand?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Right?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I have done that maybe

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Nyk Danu Yoga: 4 times in the last

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Nyk Danu Yoga: 9 years.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: It’s not a lot, and I teach full time.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: That would be what I would consider an assist.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Now, assist are also used. That word is also used for things like, Oh, I’m gonna assist you while you do a drop back. So even the languaging of adjustments and assists so gray and murky, and we don’t know what each other’s talking about. So then, when someone says, You know, should you do hands on adjustments in yen? Or should you do assist in yin.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: it’s like well, first of all, what are you even talking about?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And secondly, my answer would be, no.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: we could debate until the cows come home. Whether or not you should offer hands-on adjusts or assists in your other classes that are not yin.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And again, you’ve just heard me say, I’ve got a lot to say about that. I really think that

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Nyk Danu Yoga: that is far too common.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and that as teachers, we could really challenge ourselves and grow as teachers, if we can find a way to stop touching and to use our words and demonstrating with our own body

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Nyk Danu Yoga: as a way of teaching the student.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So I know that there are whole styles of yoga that have been where you’ve been taught that you need to walk around the room

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and not demo the poses.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and just use your words.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I don’t know why people teach that. That is, pardon my French, but fucking ridiculous.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: because that does not work to all learning styles.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: That is, assuming that everyone in that room is an audio learner, meaning they’re going to learn best by hearing

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Nyk Danu Yoga: as you’re walking around the room saying things they’re going to learn the best by hearing you.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: That’s a very small percentage of the population. That’s an audio learner.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So what about the people that are visual learners.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Hey? You’re walking around. You’re not showing them anything. That’s why you’ll see students stop and start looking around and looking at the person next to them on their mat, and some teachers even encourage them to look at the person next time on their mat, and copy them.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: which is terrible because the person next to them, first of all, maybe, doesn’t want to be a human spectacle.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and second of all.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: doesn’t have the same body. So

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Nyk Danu Yoga: me copying somebody on the mat next to me. That’s not a good idea

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Nyk Danu Yoga: that could be injurious to my body, plus that person beside me wants to probably have their own practice.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: you know.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: They wanna enjoy themselves without feeling like somebody’s constantly staring at them.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Some somebody who’s new to the practice is staring at them instead of the teacher who could be up at the front demonstrating poses. I’m not saying, do the whole practice with your students? I don’t think that’s skillful, either, but like demoing.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, showing this is what I’m doing, and then maybe you come out and you look around and see how everyone’s doing right. So anyways.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I know that those of you that have been taught

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Nyk Danu Yoga: there are those of you that have been taught

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Nyk Danu Yoga: to not demo at all to walk around the room and to guide students with your voice. Well.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: whoever taught that initially does not have a good understanding of learning styles.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: we have visual learners, we have audio learners, we have kinesthetic learners.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: If you are to be a skilled teacher, you want to have things for all of those learning styles. Yes, you use your words for the audio

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Nyk Danu Yoga: learners you demonstrate, and you use languaging. That is a visualization

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Nyk Danu Yoga: for the visual learners.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and you show for the kinesthetic learners in your body.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Now, occasionally, if somebody’s super kinesthetic.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: they may miss some of your cues, and that’s where sometimes I’ve come around and just said.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I’ve got my hand on your back. Can you take your back away from my hand, for example?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: But the touch from my hand is very light.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and I’ve said to them already before I touch them. Is it okay? If I put my back on your hand.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I might sorry. My hand on your back, back on my hand. That would be a whole other trick. Wouldn’t it be

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Nyk Danu Yoga: so? I’m I’m at first of all I’m asking permission. I’m doing a very light touch, light enough, firm enough that they could feel my hand. I’m not being creepy, and you know light touch can be creepy as well

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Nyk Danu Yoga: firm enough that they can feel my hand there, and that. But the hand is just a touch point for them to reference their own body. I’m not pushing on them. I’m not trying to tweak them. I’m not trying to adjust them. I do not believe in that period the end full stop.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So let’s get into how this affects a yin practice.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Well, if we acknowledge that

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Nyk Danu Yoga: everybody is different

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and which we do in yen, but there is no one size fits everybody.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and that when we look out at our room we may have multiple different expressions

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Nyk Danu Yoga: of poses as we look around the room, that you know, person A is not going to look the same as person B and C and D,

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and we acknowledge that Yin Yoga is a functional practice.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: not an aesthetic practice.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: meaning.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: we acknowledge that the point of the yin pose is the function of the pose.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: not what the pose looks like.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So if I’m doing a shape in a sequence

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Nyk Danu Yoga: to access a hamstring, for example.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: then that is the point of the pose.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and it doesn’t matter what anyone looks like.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: If they’re feeling a stretch in their hamstring

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Nyk Danu Yoga: great.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: then they’re all doing it correctly

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Nyk Danu Yoga: now, if they’re not feeling a stretch in their hamstring because they’re super, Bendy. Well, then, you give them other things to focus on.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: But I’m not going to be correcting their alignment.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So if I’m not correcting alignment

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Nyk Danu Yoga: in a yin practice, because I acknowledge that Yin Yoga is a functional form of Yoga, not an aesthetic form of Yoga that it doesn’t matter what these shapes look like. What matters is, what is the person feeling?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So if I acknowledge that.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and I acknowledge that Yin yoga is an inside out practice that it is about interoception

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and awareness of what is happening inside of them.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Then why would I need to touch my students at all?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: You’re not trying to put them deeper into a pose because it’s an inside out experience. And they should really only be doing

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Nyk Danu Yoga: 50 to 60% of the most they could do anyway.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So if the student is

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Nyk Danu Yoga: practicing introception, coming from the inside out in their practice, noticing how they feel, and then making their choices for their shapes according to how they feel as an individual.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: The practice is functional, not aesthetic meaning that it’s what does the pose feel like, or what is the function of this pose. That’s important, not

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Nyk Danu Yoga: what does it look like?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Then why would I need to touch my students

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Nyk Danu Yoga: instead? What I want to be able to do is very skillfully explained to them.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and give them hints about

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Nyk Danu Yoga: dropping in and noticing. So, for here’s an example of this that sometimes comes up in Yin

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Nyk Danu Yoga: from students. Am I doing this pose right?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Well? I don’t know. What are you feeling

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Nyk Danu Yoga: if the point of the pose is for you to feel a stretch in your hamstring, and you’re feeling that in that 50 to 60% zone, and you’re not causing yourself any pain or injury. Then yay, you’re doing it right.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: but the doing it right

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Nyk Danu Yoga: comes back to I don’t know.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Tell me what you’re feeling, so you’re continually guiding the students back to their own body.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: their own agency of their own body.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: their own individual uniqueness.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and permission for them to explore what that pose looks like for that body in that day at that stage of their life.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and you’re trying to teach your students how to drop inward and notice what’s happening inside of them.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So if that’s the goal of Yin, which I would argue it is. And if you, if this is all news to you, you got some episodes you can catch up on for sure.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So if that’s the premise of yet.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: if we’re acknowledging that this is a quiet, still practice, if we’re acknowledging that the students all have unique bodies and unique shapes and unique needs.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: And we’re trying to teach our students how to drop inward and to notice what’s happening in their body

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and to know what the function of the shape is, and then to choose their version

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Nyk Danu Yoga: for their own body based on what they’re feeling.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Then why do I need to touch them.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Why would I need to adjust them? What am I adjusting?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: What am I

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Nyk Danu Yoga: assisting?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I got nothing

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Nyk Danu Yoga: now. I want to be really clear. I’m not saying I don’t leave my mat in a yin class. I do occasionally, not often, but I do occasionally. So, for example, if

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Nyk Danu Yoga: everybody’s in a shape, and I can just see that somebody’s super uncomfortable.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Maybe they’re new to Yoga, or they’re new to yin, or they just don’t. They haven’t done that particular pose in their body in a yin way, and they’re really struggling to get comfortable.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I may go over and offer them a prop.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: Now, I also because I’m a trauma, informed teacher. Don’t just get up and start moving around the room. I would say

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Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m just going to move around the room for a few minutes to help some of your Yoga friends get more comfortable

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Nyk Danu Yoga: if I come over to you and offer you a prop

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Nyk Danu Yoga: to get you more comfortable.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and it makes you more comfortable. Yay.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: if I come over and offer you a prop, and it actually doesn’t improve the way you feel in the shape. Then please ignore me.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: so I’ll say that, and then I’ll go around and I’ll help a couple people who are uncomfortable, and then I’ll just say I’m heading back to my mat now and again. That is because I’m a trauma, informed teacher. You want to learn more about that. There’s 3 episodes previous to this one that you can check out on trauma.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: and how it affects the way we teach.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So if I’m trying to teach

315
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Nyk Danu Yoga: people to drop into their own body

316
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Nyk Danu Yoga: to see what feels right for them.

317
00:30:38.060 –> 00:30:42.730
Nyk Danu Yoga: to have the agency to choose for themselves, regardless of what that looks like.

318
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Nyk Danu Yoga: and to have an awareness of what’s happening inside of their body.

319
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Nyk Danu Yoga: Then why would I need to touch them?

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Nyk Danu Yoga: So oftentimes these things

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Nyk Danu Yoga: come around? Because.

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Nyk Danu Yoga: as I’ve mentioned in other episodes we take our first teacher training, and we learn all these things. I always call them our our little suitcases. So we come into yin with our little suitcases of all of the knowledge that we’ve learned in our other trainings without stopping to think.

323
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Nyk Danu Yoga: Does this serve this particular practice, this particular style.

324
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Nyk Danu Yoga: Could I leave some of this baggage or little suitcases at the door

325
00:31:23.590 –> 00:31:30.020
Nyk Danu Yoga: for yin, because it actually has nothing to do with yin, and it’s not helpful in yin, and in fact, it kind of hinders yin.

326
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Nyk Danu Yoga: So I’ve talked in many past episodes about some of these little suitcases that need to get left at the door.

327
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Nyk Danu Yoga: and for today

328
00:31:38.420 –> 00:31:41.370
Nyk Danu Yoga: the little suitcase that needs to get left at the door

329
00:31:41.400 –> 00:31:45.130
Nyk Danu Yoga: before you start teaching your yin is hands on adjusts or assists.

330
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Nyk Danu Yoga: Now I know that I’m going to hear blow back usually from teachers that not necessarily because they are so attached to giving them. But often you’ll hear teachers saying, Oh, but I love it. When people touch me in yoga. Okay.

331
00:32:01.730 –> 00:32:03.600
Nyk Danu Yoga: go to an active class, then

332
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Nyk Danu Yoga: go. Don’t go to a yin class, or

333
00:32:06.130 –> 00:32:10.460
Nyk Danu Yoga: if you’re really in need of some nurturing touch, go get a massage.

334
00:32:10.590 –> 00:32:12.239
Nyk Danu Yoga: go get some acupuncture.

335
00:32:13.120 –> 00:32:14.230
Nyk Danu Yoga: etc.

336
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Nyk Danu Yoga: a yen yoga practice

337
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Nyk Danu Yoga: one of the biggest

338
00:32:19.190 –> 00:32:23.670
Nyk Danu Yoga: goals from a Yen Yoga practice is to encourage introception.

339
00:32:23.960 –> 00:32:29.479
Nyk Danu Yoga: to have people slow down and get quiet enough to know what’s going on inside of their body.

340
00:32:30.120 –> 00:32:32.279
Nyk Danu Yoga: and people can’t go

341
00:32:34.220 –> 00:32:35.990
Nyk Danu Yoga: into introception

342
00:32:36.890 –> 00:32:43.379
Nyk Danu Yoga: and really making choice based on their own body and agency. If you’re going to go around and touch them

343
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Nyk Danu Yoga: and tell them what they should be doing instead.

344
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Nyk Danu Yoga: Now I will say that I know I have. I know friends, and I have other people. I know that do classes where they might do

345
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Nyk Danu Yoga: you know yin and slash

346
00:32:58.000 –> 00:33:16.239
Nyk Danu Yoga: acupressure or yin, and then a yin and PIN class, for example, yin yoga, and then acupuncture afterwards. If you’ve got an acupuncturist, or if you, if you, as a teacher, are a trained acupressurist, and I don’t mean you took some myofasual yin training. And now you think you go around poking everyone’s points.

347
00:33:16.530 –> 00:33:18.180
Nyk Danu Yoga: That’s not what I’m talking about.

348
00:33:18.540 –> 00:33:28.880
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m talking about people who are actually Chinese medicine practitioners. They’re actually medical gong practitioners. They’ve actually taken Shiatsu training people who have studied

349
00:33:29.231 –> 00:33:39.939
Nyk Danu Yoga: these acupressure and acupuncture points in depth. And that’s part of what they do for their living. Not like. Oh, I took a 20 h course. And now I’m going to go around and poke people’s acupressure points.

350
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Nyk Danu Yoga: because that would be unskillful, because, just like everything else, there is not one acupressure point for every person. That is a good idea.

351
00:33:49.330 –> 00:34:03.499
Nyk Danu Yoga: There’s a reason why Chinese medicine doctors and acupuncturists take many, many years of schooling and study, and that is because they learn how to properly diagnose the individual and choose points that are custom for that individual.

352
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Nyk Danu Yoga: So if you are going around and you have not done an intake, you have not done a waiver.

353
00:34:10.210 –> 00:34:18.239
Nyk Danu Yoga: You have not met with each student individually to learn about what’s going on for them in their body. And now you’re pushing on points on their body.

354
00:34:18.510 –> 00:34:22.160
Nyk Danu Yoga: Bad news and out of your scope of practice.

355
00:34:22.679 –> 00:34:25.030
Nyk Danu Yoga: Now, if you are an acupuncturist.

356
00:34:25.360 –> 00:34:27.739
Nyk Danu Yoga: if you are a medical gig

357
00:34:27.770 –> 00:34:33.970
Nyk Danu Yoga: practitioner, if you are in Tishatu, that’s a different story, because you will have an understanding of

358
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Nyk Danu Yoga: chatting with people beforehand and finding out what’s going on for them, and you will choose points according to that particular person’s needs, or at least you’re going to leave out points if they’re not appropriate, or if they’re contraindicated

359
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Nyk Danu Yoga: for that particular person.

360
00:34:49.159 –> 00:34:58.250
Nyk Danu Yoga: So, for example, and because people think somehow that acupressure, and is so innocent. There are certain points that you would not stimulate on a pregnant woman.

361
00:34:59.140 –> 00:35:01.090
Nyk Danu Yoga: and if you don’t know what those are.

362
00:35:01.130 –> 00:35:04.590
Nyk Danu Yoga: then you shouldn’t be touching people in class and pushing on their points.

363
00:35:05.950 –> 00:35:09.150
Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay, soap box and brant over with that one. So

364
00:35:09.180 –> 00:35:21.410
Nyk Danu Yoga: if you are qualified and trained to do those things like yin and PIN where you’re gonna come and put needles in at the end. Or if you are trained to do acupressure acupuncture.

365
00:35:21.880 –> 00:35:23.870
Nyk Danu Yoga: then that’s a different story

366
00:35:24.040 –> 00:35:26.330
Nyk Danu Yoga: in your class. However.

367
00:35:26.570 –> 00:35:30.880
Nyk Danu Yoga: you still need to make it very clear

368
00:35:30.910 –> 00:35:38.579
Nyk Danu Yoga: if you’re qualified to do those things, and if you are not qualified to do those things. Stop doing them. You’re working out of your scope of practice. That’s irresponsible.

369
00:35:39.000 –> 00:35:53.519
Nyk Danu Yoga: But if you are qualified to do those things for those rare few magical unicorns listening to this right now going? Yeah, but I am an acupuncturist, or yes, but I have studied medical medical Chigung, or yes, but I am a Sh a Shiatsu practitioner for you magical unicorns.

370
00:35:54.130 –> 00:35:58.599
Nyk Danu Yoga: If you want to do those classes, please do. But please make it really clear

371
00:35:58.630 –> 00:36:00.740
Nyk Danu Yoga: in the class description

372
00:36:00.960 –> 00:36:02.989
Nyk Danu Yoga: that you will be touching people

373
00:36:04.440 –> 00:36:17.920
Nyk Danu Yoga: right? So people should know, when they read your class description, that you will be putting pressure, or whatever on, or needles on certain points like they should know that. And that should be part of what they’re signing up for.

374
00:36:18.000 –> 00:36:30.330
Nyk Danu Yoga: That is a very different thing than the average drop in Yin class. And now, all of a sudden, the Yoga teacher is walking around, pushing on points on people, or adjusting or giving assists in their shapes.

375
00:36:30.700 –> 00:36:35.820
Nyk Danu Yoga: So again, if a Yin Yoga practice is an inside out practice.

376
00:36:36.460 –> 00:36:39.069
Nyk Danu Yoga: and you’re walking around touching everybody.

377
00:36:39.770 –> 00:36:44.039
Nyk Danu Yoga: probably not skillfully, because most Yoga teachers are actually believe it or not.

378
00:36:44.070 –> 00:36:47.880
Nyk Danu Yoga: not qualified to be adjusting and assisting bodies.

379
00:36:50.100 –> 00:36:50.970
Nyk Danu Yoga: So

380
00:36:51.650 –> 00:37:07.759
Nyk Danu Yoga: I think again, this comes down to what often happens in the Yoga industry because we are unregulated, unlicensed. And I’m not saying I want regulation in licensure. In fact, if that happens, I will quit saying I’m a Yoga teacher. But what I am saying is that we need to have the humility

381
00:37:08.320 –> 00:37:12.119
Nyk Danu Yoga: to stay in our scope of practice.

382
00:37:12.770 –> 00:37:41.359
Nyk Danu Yoga: and even though I studied Chinese medicine for almost 3 years, and even though I have a boatload of extra anatomy courses, surface anatomy, A and P. Blah blah blah, and even though I have studied. Try yoga massage, and even though I studied how to do hands-on yin so facilitated stretching with Paul Grilley. Even with all of that in my background. I do not touch my students in their Yoga class.

383
00:37:42.880 –> 00:37:43.910
Nyk Danu Yoga: because

384
00:37:44.230 –> 00:37:47.609
Nyk Danu Yoga: I want them to have still and quiet time

385
00:37:47.800 –> 00:37:58.519
Nyk Danu Yoga: to be able to drop into their own body to see what it is that they’re feeling to identify their needs. And I can help them with that if they’re like. I don’t know how to do that. I can give them some coaching on that.

386
00:37:58.890 –> 00:38:00.539
Nyk Danu Yoga: but that is the point

387
00:38:00.690 –> 00:38:02.310
Nyk Danu Yoga: of them. Coming to Yin

388
00:38:02.350 –> 00:38:03.860
Nyk Danu Yoga: is for them

389
00:38:03.980 –> 00:38:04.890
Nyk Danu Yoga: to know

390
00:38:05.730 –> 00:38:08.310
Nyk Danu Yoga: what is the best shape for my body tonight

391
00:38:08.590 –> 00:38:10.910
Nyk Danu Yoga: or today or this morning. Whenever it is.

392
00:38:12.590 –> 00:38:20.290
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m trying to teach them to drop inward so that they have the agency to make their own choices

393
00:38:20.740 –> 00:38:26.780
Nyk Danu Yoga: for what is going to work in their body. So I’m not going to go move them into a shape.

394
00:38:27.620 –> 00:38:33.389
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m going to let them choose their version of the shape based on what they’re feeling

395
00:38:33.770 –> 00:38:35.840
Nyk Danu Yoga: and what’s going on with them.

396
00:38:36.990 –> 00:38:42.679
Nyk Danu Yoga: And my job as a Yin teacher is that if people find that difficult.

397
00:38:42.770 –> 00:38:48.819
Nyk Danu Yoga: because introception is not something we practice sort of on a daily basis out in the rest of the world.

398
00:38:55.020 –> 00:38:56.889
Nyk Danu Yoga: so if they find

399
00:38:57.160 –> 00:38:59.710
Nyk Danu Yoga: introception difficult.

400
00:39:00.100 –> 00:39:07.599
Nyk Danu Yoga: Then my job is to coach them on how they might become more aware of what’s happening on the inside of them.

401
00:39:08.710 –> 00:39:12.050
Nyk Danu Yoga: Right, my, quite. My job is to ask them questions like

402
00:39:12.270 –> 00:39:18.179
Nyk Danu Yoga: when they say things like, Am I doing this right? Well, I’m not sure where. Tell me where you’re feeling this.

403
00:39:19.400 –> 00:39:21.470
Nyk Danu Yoga: and if they’re like, I’m not feeling anything.

404
00:39:21.550 –> 00:39:31.530
Nyk Danu Yoga: then I would, you know, ask them, maybe, to put their own hand if they can, on the area of the body that I was intending, although that may not be where they feel it, because we’re all different

405
00:39:31.700 –> 00:39:36.770
Nyk Danu Yoga: and say, Well, my intention is this area here. Do you feel any sensation there?

406
00:39:37.730 –> 00:39:52.259
Nyk Danu Yoga: And if they say, Oh, yeah, okay, I do. Well, then, now, we’re gonna say, okay, is that sensation in that 50 to 60% range. And then how can you get yourself more comfortable here so that you can experience that sensation and not be gripping and holding. And.

407
00:39:52.330 –> 00:39:54.359
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, tightening up other areas.

408
00:39:54.400 –> 00:39:58.169
Nyk Danu Yoga: This is where we can bring in props and be skillful that way.

409
00:40:01.450 –> 00:40:03.640
Nyk Danu Yoga: So my job is to

410
00:40:03.800 –> 00:40:09.490
Nyk Danu Yoga: coach, encourage, and teach them how to drop into their own inner landscape

411
00:40:09.650 –> 00:40:11.460
Nyk Danu Yoga: and find what works for them.

412
00:40:11.790 –> 00:40:16.379
Nyk Danu Yoga: It is not my job to air quotes, correct their alignment.

413
00:40:16.840 –> 00:40:20.990
Nyk Danu Yoga: It is not my job to deepen their pose.

414
00:40:21.170 –> 00:40:22.510
Nyk Danu Yoga: None of that

415
00:40:22.620 –> 00:40:24.540
Nyk Danu Yoga: is in my job. Description.

416
00:40:25.610 –> 00:40:26.620
Nyk Danu Yoga: Period

417
00:40:26.710 –> 00:40:29.150
Nyk Danu Yoga: full stop as a Yoga teacher.

418
00:40:29.440 –> 00:40:32.740
Nyk Danu Yoga: and especially as a Yin Yoga teacher.

419
00:40:33.090 –> 00:40:46.309
Nyk Danu Yoga: So even though I’m talking about this from a yin perspective, from the perspective of introception, and people choosing what works for their body and being functional, and all of this stuff that I’m talking about

420
00:40:46.520 –> 00:40:48.530
Nyk Danu Yoga: of what makes you different.

421
00:40:49.320 –> 00:40:58.399
Nyk Danu Yoga: I would argue actually, that in the yogaverse in general there is far too many Yoga teachers hands on far too many Yogi’s bodies.

422
00:40:58.550 –> 00:41:02.100
Nyk Danu Yoga: and that most yin teachers

423
00:41:02.220 –> 00:41:03.390
Nyk Danu Yoga: do not.

424
00:41:03.970 –> 00:41:06.250
Nyk Danu Yoga: or most Yoga teachers

425
00:41:06.620 –> 00:41:17.260
Nyk Danu Yoga: do not have the skill to be able to skillfully offer hands-on adjustments, even if you took your little hands on adjustment weekend workshop. No.

426
00:41:17.540 –> 00:41:21.029
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’m talking about years of anatomy study

427
00:41:21.070 –> 00:41:25.000
Nyk Danu Yoga: like a physiotherapist would like a kinesiologist would.

428
00:41:25.200 –> 00:41:29.869
Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay, like a massage therapist, would you? Don’t have that background?

429
00:41:31.110 –> 00:41:35.200
Nyk Danu Yoga: You don’t have enough knowledge to be manipulating people’s bodies.

430
00:41:36.890 –> 00:41:55.010
Nyk Danu Yoga: Now, sometimes I know people like to just offer a little bit of sort of gentle massage, or just kind of a gentle like putting their hands down and saying, You know, breathe into my hands that kind of thing that’s not. That’s not designed to deepen the pose. But again, you shouldn’t be offering massage unless you’ve got training and massage.

431
00:41:55.170 –> 00:41:58.183
Nyk Danu Yoga: shouldn’t be offering acupressure unless you are an

432
00:41:59.010 –> 00:42:01.810
Nyk Danu Yoga: Medical. Tcm. D.

433
00:42:01.820 –> 00:42:08.910
Nyk Danu Yoga: Unless you are a medical Chi Gong practitioner, or unless you’re a Shiatsu person, you shouldn’t be doing acupressure on other people.

434
00:42:08.920 –> 00:42:11.010
Nyk Danu Yoga: It’s beyond your scope of practice.

435
00:42:11.070 –> 00:42:15.170
Nyk Danu Yoga: So, dear Yoga teachers, can we stay in our own fucking lane.

436
00:42:15.200 –> 00:42:18.909
Nyk Danu Yoga: and just focus on teaching Yoga really well

437
00:42:19.140 –> 00:42:21.540
Nyk Danu Yoga: without all this hands-on business.

438
00:42:22.290 –> 00:42:45.170
Nyk Danu Yoga: And again, for those unicorns, you know who you are listening, that have the training and the experience in those other areas. And you’re gonna offer that. Let’s say you’re a massage therapist and you’re a yoga teacher. You’re an acupuncturist, and you’re a Yoga teacher. You are a Shiatsu practitioner and a Yoga teacher. You! You’re a medical practitioner and a Yoga teacher for those magical unicorns.

439
00:42:45.960 –> 00:42:52.130
Nyk Danu Yoga: Please feel free. You have the training. You have the experience. But just put it in your class description

440
00:42:52.630 –> 00:42:54.589
Nyk Danu Yoga: to be trauma informed.

441
00:42:54.680 –> 00:43:11.880
Nyk Danu Yoga: People need to know that when they show up they’re going to be getting touched. So make it very clear in your description. In this class we will be offering hands-on blah blah blah blah, whatever it is, or we will be offering needles in Shavasin, or whatever the case may be, and so make sure.

442
00:43:12.600 –> 00:43:26.780
Nyk Danu Yoga: if you’re going to do that, that you have it listed in your class description, and that you’re even qualified to offer these things. And again, for those teachers who are thinking right now. Yeah. But I’ve taken all these workshops on how to offer hands on assist. That doesn’t matter.

443
00:43:27.110 –> 00:43:33.909
Nyk Danu Yoga: because those workshops that teach you how to offer hands-on assist are giving you one size, fits all

444
00:43:33.930 –> 00:43:41.789
Nyk Danu Yoga: ways to adjust and assist students. It is assuming that all of your students have the same bones, and they do not

445
00:43:42.110 –> 00:43:51.900
Nyk Danu Yoga: so. There is no one way to offer a hands-on adjustment or assistant assist in a pose, because all of your students are totally different and unique.

446
00:43:52.670 –> 00:43:57.500
Nyk Danu Yoga: and I realize that sometimes when we hear this kind of information.

447
00:43:57.830 –> 00:44:00.920
Nyk Danu Yoga: we can have a bit of shell shock because we’ve

448
00:44:01.310 –> 00:44:05.680
Nyk Danu Yoga: we’ve spent all this money and time and training, learning these styles of Yoga.

449
00:44:06.160 –> 00:44:09.980
Nyk Danu Yoga: And we’ve been just doing automatically whatever it was that

450
00:44:10.280 –> 00:44:15.520
Nyk Danu Yoga: our teacher taught us, or whatever we were trained to do in that style of Yoga without stopping to question.

451
00:44:15.710 –> 00:44:19.189
Nyk Danu Yoga: is this wise? Do I do? Do I want to do this?

452
00:44:19.450 –> 00:44:21.490
Nyk Danu Yoga: What is the point of this? Actually.

453
00:44:23.070 –> 00:44:26.369
Nyk Danu Yoga: But you really need to ask questions always.

454
00:44:27.230 –> 00:44:30.439
Nyk Danu Yoga: One of my favorite quotes that has been attributed to the Buddha.

455
00:44:30.650 –> 00:44:36.099
Nyk Danu Yoga: We don’t know for sure if the Buddha said it because they weren’t really writing things down back in those days. So who knows?

456
00:44:36.490 –> 00:44:40.300
Nyk Danu Yoga: But one of the quotes that is attributed to the Buddha is.

457
00:44:40.440 –> 00:44:43.380
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, not to to believe anything.

458
00:44:43.530 –> 00:44:48.390
Nyk Danu Yoga: even if I have said it, even if you’ve read it in Scripture, etc, etc.

459
00:44:48.560 –> 00:44:51.769
Nyk Danu Yoga: question everything, and only.

460
00:44:59.110 –> 00:44:59.930
Nyk Danu Yoga: okay.

461
00:45:01.230 –> 00:45:03.279
Nyk Danu Yoga: So if we’re going to

462
00:45:03.450 –> 00:45:09.569
Nyk Danu Yoga: be wise and skillful teachers, then we need to ask questions.

463
00:45:09.900 –> 00:45:13.149
Nyk Danu Yoga: We need to ask questions from those in their trainings.

464
00:45:13.590 –> 00:45:17.780
Nyk Danu Yoga: We need to question what we were taught and decide. Does that work for me?

465
00:45:18.050 –> 00:45:25.539
Nyk Danu Yoga: Does that fit with what I think is right in the world? Is that something that I want to do is that something that’s helpful?

466
00:45:25.590 –> 00:45:28.940
Nyk Danu Yoga: These are all questions that you need to ask yourself.

467
00:45:29.790 –> 00:45:37.470
Nyk Danu Yoga: You shouldn’t be just doing automatically what your teacher training taught you to do without first pausing to question it.

468
00:45:39.740 –> 00:45:45.609
Nyk Danu Yoga: So there’s a certain point as a teacher where you have to reach the maturity to question things.

469
00:45:46.640 –> 00:45:49.620
Nyk Danu Yoga: One of my favorite quotes, which is attributed to the Buddha.

470
00:45:49.820 –> 00:45:54.620
Nyk Danu Yoga: we don’t know for sure if the Buddha said it because it’s not like they were writing stuff down back then. But here it is.

471
00:45:55.660 –> 00:45:59.179
Nyk Danu Yoga: Do not believe anything simply because you have heard it.

472
00:46:00.720 –> 00:46:05.509
Nyk Danu Yoga: Do not believe anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many.

473
00:46:07.160 –> 00:46:11.619
Nyk Danu Yoga: Do not believe anything simply because it is written in your religious books.

474
00:46:12.820 –> 00:46:17.790
Nyk Danu Yoga: Do not believe anything merely on the authority of your teachers or elders

475
00:46:18.800 –> 00:46:23.979
Nyk Danu Yoga: do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.

476
00:46:25.570 –> 00:46:28.759
Nyk Danu Yoga: but after observation and analysis.

477
00:46:29.850 –> 00:46:31.420
Nyk Danu Yoga: when you find

478
00:46:31.460 –> 00:46:37.970
Nyk Danu Yoga: anything that agrees with your reason, and is conductive to the good and benefit of one and all.

479
00:46:37.990 –> 00:46:39.680
Nyk Danu Yoga: then accept it

480
00:46:39.810 –> 00:46:40.940
Nyk Danu Yoga: and live up to it

481
00:46:43.120 –> 00:46:44.669
Nyk Danu Yoga: attributed to the Buddha.

482
00:46:45.970 –> 00:46:46.970
Nyk Danu Yoga: So

483
00:46:47.650 –> 00:46:57.270
Nyk Danu Yoga: as teachers. If you walked into your Yin classroom with some of these little suitcases, these baggage things from your first training that maybe you never questioned in your first training.

484
00:46:58.330 –> 00:47:05.999
Nyk Danu Yoga: but we do need to start questioning them now. If you haven’t already, when you’re starting to teach in, you need to start questioning what you have been taught.

485
00:47:06.020 –> 00:47:09.039
Nyk Danu Yoga: because yin is a different practice.

486
00:47:10.510 –> 00:47:12.319
Nyk Danu Yoga: So, in my opinion.

487
00:47:13.120 –> 00:47:14.590
Nyk Danu Yoga: there is no room

488
00:47:14.760 –> 00:47:16.360
Nyk Danu Yoga: for hands-on adjusts

489
00:47:16.550 –> 00:47:19.100
Nyk Danu Yoga: and assists in a yin practice.

490
00:47:20.180 –> 00:47:28.759
Nyk Danu Yoga: I would argue that if you want to lead trauma informed spaces in your other Yoga classes, too, that you should start letting that go, but that is perhaps a rant for another time

491
00:47:29.650 –> 00:47:30.670
Nyk Danu Yoga: and again

492
00:47:30.910 –> 00:47:32.880
Nyk Danu Yoga: the 3 episodes before this

493
00:47:33.040 –> 00:47:38.829
Nyk Danu Yoga: talk about trauma. So if you’re if this is something that’s kind of new to you. Please check those out.

494
00:47:41.280 –> 00:47:47.039
Nyk Danu Yoga: But when we walk into now, I’m about to teach you in, things need to change. It is different.

495
00:47:47.570 –> 00:47:51.010
Nyk Danu Yoga: Yen Yoga is not just like regular yoga with longer holds.

496
00:47:51.900 –> 00:48:04.020
Nyk Danu Yoga: And so we need to leave some of the baggage at the door. And in this episode the suitcase that we’re talking about. That you should leave at the door is offering hands-on adjusts and hands-on assists in a yin practice.

497
00:48:06.420 –> 00:48:07.540
Nyk Danu Yoga: Now, again.

498
00:48:07.680 –> 00:48:13.450
Nyk Danu Yoga: there’s a slight exception for those of you who are qualified to do acupressure, massage.

499
00:48:13.490 –> 00:48:15.600
Nyk Danu Yoga: acupuncture, etc.

500
00:48:15.760 –> 00:48:29.689
Nyk Danu Yoga: for those of you who do that as your livelihood, you have the certification, the training, the licensure, etc. If you are offering that in your yin classes as a special little awesome bonus that makes you unique. If that’s your special sauce in your classes

501
00:48:30.100 –> 00:48:33.390
Nyk Danu Yoga: party on with yourself, but just make sure it says so in the description.

502
00:48:33.610 –> 00:48:41.319
Nyk Danu Yoga: because if people have been to a bunch of other Yin classes, and they’ve never been touched. And now they show up to yours, and you’re all up in their business again. It’s not trauma sensitive.

503
00:48:41.410 –> 00:48:55.959
Nyk Danu Yoga: so just say in your class description in this class. Blank, blank blank will be offered. So you know, acupressure, acupuncture, etc. massage. Just let them know so that when people sign up. They’re going because they want that little treat

504
00:48:56.050 –> 00:48:58.640
Nyk Danu Yoga: right? They’re not kind of caught off guard.

505
00:49:00.510 –> 00:49:04.629
Nyk Danu Yoga: So I know that this won’t be necessarily the most popular episode.

506
00:49:04.720 –> 00:49:08.649
Nyk Danu Yoga: I know that anytime I’ve seen this come up in Facebook groups.

507
00:49:08.930 –> 00:49:16.190
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’ve seen a lot of teachers get pissy about it because they like somebody adjusting them

508
00:49:16.350 –> 00:49:22.069
Nyk Danu Yoga: in their Yoga classes. When they, as a teacher, go to classes, they love it when people touch them

509
00:49:22.330 –> 00:49:23.230
Nyk Danu Yoga: fine.

510
00:49:23.870 –> 00:49:32.589
Nyk Danu Yoga: but that doesn’t mean that that should happen in a yin room number one, and it doesn’t mean that that’s what you should do to your students. Why would you assume that all of your students want that.

511
00:49:35.080 –> 00:49:38.830
Nyk Danu Yoga: And again, most are not qualified enough. So, for example.

512
00:49:39.260 –> 00:49:46.279
Nyk Danu Yoga: something as small as putting your hands on someone’s lower back when they’re in child pose, which is a common adjustment.

513
00:49:46.480 –> 00:49:57.469
Nyk Danu Yoga: one hand on either side of their sacrum, and then kind of putting a little pressure on one hand and then switching and doing a little pressure kind of rocking back and forth with your hands on their sacrum. Seems really innocent, doesn’t it?

514
00:49:58.730 –> 00:50:01.010
Nyk Danu Yoga: Not if someone’s got Si issues.

515
00:50:01.160 –> 00:50:02.690
Nyk Danu Yoga: Not if somebody’s pregnant.

516
00:50:03.340 –> 00:50:09.030
Nyk Danu Yoga: you can see where I’m going with this. There are acupressure points. For example, you do not do on someone who’s pregnant.

517
00:50:09.340 –> 00:50:13.609
Nyk Danu Yoga: and if you do not know these things, then you shouldn’t be touching people

518
00:50:14.800 –> 00:50:16.260
Nyk Danu Yoga: in your classes.

519
00:50:18.060 –> 00:50:22.500
Nyk Danu Yoga: And if you really want to offer, if you don’t have any of these skills. And you really want to offer.

520
00:50:22.540 –> 00:50:28.670
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, a yin with massage element. Why don’t you teach a yin workshop on yin and self massage.

521
00:50:28.890 –> 00:50:34.490
Nyk Danu Yoga: you know, you can show them how to like massage their own feet and their own shoulders and temples, and whatever, if that’s

522
00:50:34.560 –> 00:50:36.130
Nyk Danu Yoga: something that you want to do

523
00:50:37.690 –> 00:50:41.180
Nyk Danu Yoga: alright. I think I’ve ranted enough about this again.

524
00:50:41.270 –> 00:50:46.499
Nyk Danu Yoga: I am the queen of unpopular opinions, and so I realize I’ll get some blow back on this.

525
00:50:47.030 –> 00:50:47.960
Nyk Danu Yoga: But

526
00:50:49.310 –> 00:50:50.399
Nyk Danu Yoga: I don’t care.

527
00:50:50.660 –> 00:50:57.609
Nyk Danu Yoga: And the reason I don’t care is because my goal in life, when I’m teaching my teachers, and when I’m

528
00:50:57.620 –> 00:51:04.219
Nyk Danu Yoga: giving you information in this, podcast to help you in your teaching is to create an industry with epic.

529
00:51:04.820 –> 00:51:08.719
Nyk Danu Yoga: beautiful, informed, and educated teachers

530
00:51:08.840 –> 00:51:13.410
Nyk Danu Yoga: who offer soulful, brave spaces for the public.

531
00:51:13.580 –> 00:51:14.929
Nyk Danu Yoga: That’s my goal.

532
00:51:15.660 –> 00:51:19.180
Nyk Danu Yoga: So there you go hopefully, this was helpful.

533
00:51:19.270 –> 00:51:25.510
Nyk Danu Yoga: so I know that for some of you you might be feeling like the Yoga mat has just been pulled out from underneath you, because

534
00:51:25.540 –> 00:51:30.770
Nyk Danu Yoga: it never occurred to you to not automatically offer, adjust, and assist, and in that case

535
00:51:30.850 –> 00:51:33.610
Nyk Danu Yoga: I would highly recommend you take a trauma training.

536
00:51:34.225 –> 00:51:39.209
Nyk Danu Yoga: Nicole. Marcia, who was in the second of the last 3 episodes.

537
00:51:39.260 –> 00:51:53.629
Nyk Danu Yoga: is who I did my trauma training through. There’s links to her website. There she does some online highly recommend every Yoga teacher, even if you don’t want to specialize in populations where you think there’s trauma. If you work with humans, you’re working with trauma. We all got some trauma.

538
00:51:53.840 –> 00:51:58.439
Nyk Danu Yoga: little trauma, big trauma, medium sized trauma, old trauma, new trauma, all the traumas.

539
00:51:59.840 –> 00:52:00.910
Nyk Danu Yoga: So

540
00:52:01.270 –> 00:52:07.720
Nyk Danu Yoga: if you’re new to that idea that you shouldn’t just be all up in everyone’s business touching them, manipulating them, adjusting them.

541
00:52:07.880 –> 00:52:09.140
Nyk Danu Yoga: please

542
00:52:09.230 –> 00:52:18.159
Nyk Danu Yoga: take some time to learn about that, to take some trauma informed training. Listen to the episodes that came before this one. So you can really get an understanding of kind of

543
00:52:18.230 –> 00:52:19.980
Nyk Danu Yoga: the nuances of this.

544
00:52:21.660 –> 00:52:28.990
Nyk Danu Yoga: I would argue again that we can let go of these things in all styles of Yoga. But definitely don’t be bringing that suitcase into yen.

545
00:52:29.730 –> 00:52:32.009
Nyk Danu Yoga: Okay, my friends, that’s it. For now.

546
00:52:32.570 –> 00:52:39.299
Nyk Danu Yoga: I hope that you got something out of this episode, even if it was like the tough love kind of got something out of this episode, even if you’re feeling a bit

547
00:52:39.360 –> 00:52:47.360
Nyk Danu Yoga: sort of like your buttons have been pushed. If you’re feeling a little bit sort of ungrounded now, because you’re like, Oh, my God! Now I’m questioning all the things

548
00:52:49.050 –> 00:52:53.200
Nyk Danu Yoga: I’ll leave you with this piece of advice, which I probably should have started with. But here we go

549
00:52:53.790 –> 00:52:57.739
Nyk Danu Yoga: when I did, my very first teacher training. One of my

550
00:52:58.030 –> 00:53:00.340
Nyk Danu Yoga: teachers, the primary teacher, actually

551
00:53:01.360 –> 00:53:03.579
Nyk Danu Yoga: at the very beginning of training, said.

552
00:53:03.680 –> 00:53:05.290
Nyk Danu Yoga: in this training

553
00:53:05.760 –> 00:53:07.580
Nyk Danu Yoga: there will be things

554
00:53:08.440 –> 00:53:10.210
Nyk Danu Yoga: that will upset you

555
00:53:10.450 –> 00:53:15.130
Nyk Danu Yoga: that will. I don’t want to use the word triggered, because that’s a very specific meaning that will

556
00:53:15.560 –> 00:53:16.880
Nyk Danu Yoga: push your buttons.

557
00:53:17.010 –> 00:53:18.020
Nyk Danu Yoga: That will

558
00:53:18.070 –> 00:53:24.249
Nyk Danu Yoga: call into question what you believe. There will be paradigms, shifts that will pop up in this training

559
00:53:25.100 –> 00:53:34.540
Nyk Danu Yoga: that you will want to immediately reject because they don’t fit with your your current worldview, your narrative, what you believe, what you’ve been told, what you’ve been taught, etc.

560
00:53:35.400 –> 00:53:42.569
Nyk Danu Yoga: And what she told us is when you’re feeling that way, when you’re feeling like you’ve just been someone’s just pushed you a little bit, and you’re like, what

561
00:53:43.510 –> 00:53:45.569
Nyk Danu Yoga: take the time to pause

562
00:53:47.440 –> 00:53:49.640
Nyk Danu Yoga: and to ask yourself some questions

563
00:53:49.790 –> 00:53:50.700
Nyk Danu Yoga: like.

564
00:53:51.520 –> 00:54:01.490
Nyk Danu Yoga: is this upsetting me? Because I feel it’s it’s genuinely in my heart and my being. It’s not true. It doesn’t fit with my values, my beliefs. This is just not resonating. It’s not true.

565
00:54:02.090 –> 00:54:07.420
Nyk Danu Yoga: In which case, she said, and I would give to you as well toss it out then. It’s not for you.

566
00:54:08.530 –> 00:54:12.480
Nyk Danu Yoga: If, however, you’re feeling a little bit tweaked by it.

567
00:54:12.760 –> 00:54:15.259
Nyk Danu Yoga: little bit ungrounded. If you’re feeling defensive.

568
00:54:15.450 –> 00:54:20.980
Nyk Danu Yoga: if you’re feeling kind of like you’re in freeze mode because it’s new information, and you don’t know how to process it.

569
00:54:22.220 –> 00:54:23.840
Nyk Danu Yoga: And that’s not the case.

570
00:54:24.020 –> 00:54:28.710
Nyk Danu Yoga: Then ask yourself, why. Why are you feeling so attached

571
00:54:28.840 –> 00:54:33.430
Nyk Danu Yoga: to the way that you believe the way that you have thought of things in the past.

572
00:54:34.470 –> 00:54:36.329
Nyk Danu Yoga: And is that serving you?

573
00:54:37.450 –> 00:54:39.159
Nyk Danu Yoga: And could you let that go?

574
00:54:43.380 –> 00:54:51.919
Nyk Danu Yoga: So that was in my very first teacher training that she said that on day one, and I’m sure glad she did, because there was definitely some things that came up where I was like. Wait, wait, say what.

575
00:54:54.190 –> 00:54:54.990
Nyk Danu Yoga: So

576
00:54:55.570 –> 00:54:58.890
Nyk Danu Yoga: one of the ways that we practice introception

577
00:54:59.140 –> 00:55:02.620
Nyk Danu Yoga: as teachers? Is it when we have new information

578
00:55:02.880 –> 00:55:10.150
Nyk Danu Yoga: that may kind of jar us may leave us feeling a little bit assaulted may have been some tough love thrown down here, and you may be

579
00:55:10.430 –> 00:55:11.790
Nyk Danu Yoga: struggling with that

580
00:55:12.030 –> 00:55:13.190
Nyk Danu Yoga: pause

581
00:55:13.960 –> 00:55:16.960
Nyk Danu Yoga: process before you react.

582
00:55:17.240 –> 00:55:21.260
Nyk Danu Yoga: Ask yourself questions, sit with it, study it.

583
00:55:23.540 –> 00:55:30.209
Nyk Danu Yoga: Do you want to push it out and not listen to it? Just because this is the way you’ve always done things, and you don’t like change.

584
00:55:32.750 –> 00:55:40.900
Nyk Danu Yoga: or does it just not actually resonate with your if you take the time to analyze it and go, you know what? No, I just don’t believe that this is actually true for me.

585
00:55:40.950 –> 00:55:42.349
Nyk Danu Yoga: then let it go.

586
00:55:43.020 –> 00:55:46.600
Nyk Danu Yoga: But if you’re reacting because it’s new information.

587
00:55:47.870 –> 00:55:49.250
Nyk Danu Yoga: you need to sit with that

588
00:55:49.280 –> 00:55:50.440
Nyk Danu Yoga: and then decide.

589
00:55:52.320 –> 00:55:53.619
Nyk Danu Yoga: All right, my friends.

590
00:55:54.930 –> 00:55:56.550
Nyk Danu Yoga: until we meet again.

591
00:55:57.000 –> 00:55:58.659
Nyk Danu Yoga: I hope you stay well.

592
00:55:58.910 –> 00:56:00.259
Nyk Danu Yoga: and I’ll talk to you soon.

593
00:56:00.410 –> 00:56:01.410
Nyk Danu Yoga: bye, for now.

 

 

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